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THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



OF 



JORDANES 



IN ENGLISH VERSION 
WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND A COMMENTARY 



BY 

CHARLES CHRISTOPHER MIEROW, Ph.D. 

Instructor in Classics in Princeton University 



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(i 



3 



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PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS 
PRINCETON 

LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

1915 



Copyright, 1915, by 
Charles Christopher Mierow 

Published, February, 1915 



PREFACE 

This edition of the Getica of Jordanes is based 



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PREFACE 

This edition of the Getica of Jordanes is based upon 
the authoritative text and critical apparatus of Mommsen 
as found in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auc- 
fores Antiqiiissimi 5 (Berhn 1882), with other material 
added. I have adhered closely to his spelling of proper 
names, especially Gothic names, except in a few words 
which are of common use in another form. I have care- 
fully reviewed all the existing evidence on controverted 
points, dissenting in several instances from the conclu- 
sions of Mommsen, particularly in regard to the sup- 
posedly Gothic writer Ahlabius, the ecclesiastical status of 
Jordanes, and the place of composition of the Getica. 
For the Latinity of Jordanes the studies of E. Wolff lin 
(Arch. f. lat. Lex. 11, 361), J. Bergmiiller (Augsburg 
1903), and Fritz Werner (Halle 1908) have been con- 
sulted, and for ready convenience of illustration in his- 
torical matters frequent reference is made in the com- 
mentary to Hodgkin's "Italy and Her Invaders" (2nd. 
edition. Clarendon Press, 1892), Gibbon's "Decline and 
Fall of the Roman Empire" (edited by J. B. Bury, 
London 1896), Bury's "History of the Later Roman 
Empire" (MacMillan & Co., 1889), and "The Cambridge 
JVIedieval History" (The MacMillan Co., New York 
1911). 

The translation, already separately printed (Princeton 

University Press, 1908) and thus far the only existing 

English version, has been revised throughout, and a few 

slight changes have been made. As the Latin text of 

Mommsen is available elsewhere, it is not reprinted in 
this edition. 

I desire to make especial acknowledgment of the many 
helpful criticisms received from Dean West and to ex- 
press my gratitude for his constant and unfailing interest 
in this as in all my studies in the later Latin. 

Charles Christopher Mierow. 

Princeton University. 



CONTENTS 

I. INTRODUCTION 

1. Jordanes: His Life and Works i 

Jordanes i 

The Author's Name 2 

His Family 2 

His Nationality 3 

His Position in Life 4 

His Ecclesiastical Condition 5 

His Literary Activity 10 

Where the books were written 11 

Date of Composition of the Romana 

5SI A.D 12 

Of the Getica 551 A.D 13 

Nature of the work 13 

His Originality 14 

Cassiodorus Senator 15 

Aim of Cassiodorus 15 

The Aim of Jordanes 16 

Language and Style 16 

2. The Literary Sources used in the Getica 19 

Authors mentioned : 

Ablabius 19 

Cassiodorus 23 

Claudius Ptolemaeus 29 

Dexippus 29 

Dio 29 

Fabius 30 

Josephus 30 

Livy 30 

Lucan 30 

Pompeius Trogus 30 

Pomponius Mela 30 

Priscus 31 

Strabo 32 

Symmachus 32 

Tacitus 32 

Vergil 33 



CONTENTS 

Further authorities used : 

Dictys 33 

MarcelHnus 33 

A continuator of Ammianus 

MarcelHnus 34 

MarcelHnus Comes 35 

Prosper 35 

Rufinus 36 

Solinus 36 

A geographical map 36 

3. Chronological Table 38 

4. Genealogical Chart of the Amali 41 

5. Bibliography 42 

6. Literary Analysis of the Getica 47 

II. THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE 

GOTHS 51 

III. COMMENTARY 143 



INTRODUCTION 
I. JORDANES: HIS LIFE AND WORKS 

Jordanes. The author of "The Origin and Deeds of 
the Goths" is not a model of Hterary excellence or 
originality. He tells us himself^ that he was an un- 
learned man before his conversion, and his writings 
fully bear out this statement. His book is mainly a 
compilation, not very carefully made; his style is irreg- 
ular, rambling, uneven, and exhibits to a marked de- 
gree the traits of the decadent, crumbling later Latin. 
Yet he is important as the earliest Gothic historian 
whose work has survived, and he gives much informa- 
tion in regard to the Goths that is nowhere else recorded. 
Across the scene he unfolds before us pass some of 
the greatest — and some of the most terrible — figures in 
history: Attila the Hun, "the scourge of God," the 
Visigoth Alaric who thrice sacked the Eternal City, 
Gaiseric the Vandal and the great Theodoric. So for the 
matter, if not for the style of his history of the Goths, 
Jordanes deserves careful consideration. 

And there is too a certain irresistible charm in his 
naive simplicity. He is so credulous, and tells in all sin- 
cerity such marvellous tales of the mighty achievements 
of his people, that the reader is drawn to him by his very 
loyalty and devotion to the defeated Gothic race in whose 
greatness he has so confident a belief. For despite the 
fact that he is following closely in another's footsteps 
and is giving at second hand practically all the matters 
of fact he relates, his own simple, trustful personality so 
pervades the whole work as to awaken sympathy for the 
writer and his great tale of the lost cause. 

^ Getica L 266. 

I 



2 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

The Author's Name. Of his life little is known apait 
from the scant information contained in a few brief sen- 
tences of his own. The very spelling of his name was 
long- a matter of controversy, and Jacob Grimm- (fol- 
lowed later by Dietrich^) argued in favor of the form 
Jornandes, which appears in the first printed editions of 
his works. But the authority for this spelling is only 
the second class of manuscripts, while the name Jordanes 
is attested by the primary family of manuscripts and by 
the only ancient author who mentiones him — the Geo- 
grapher of Ravenna. 

His Family. Jordanes was himself a Goth^ and held 
the office of secretary or notary (notarins) in a noble 
family of the Gothic race. Here is his own brief but 
tangled account of himself and his ancestors:^ 

Scyri vero et Sadagarii et certi Alanorum cum duce 
suo nomine Candac Scythiam minorem inferioremque 
Moesiani accepertmt. cuius Candacis Alanoviiamuthis 
patris niei genitor Paria, id est meus avus, notarins, quous- 
que Candac ipse viveret, fuit, eiusque germanae filio Gun- 
thicis, qui et Baza dicehaUir, mag. mil., filio Andages fill 
Andele de prosapia Amalorum descendente, ego item 
quamvis agramatus lordannis ante conversionem nieam 
notarius fid. 

From this passage it appears that at the time of Attila's 
death (453 A.D.) Candac was leader of part of the Alani. 
Candac's sister was the wife of the Ostrogoth Andag, 
whom Jordanes mentions elsewhere*^ as the slayer of 
Theodorid I in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. This 

' Abhandlungen der Berliner Akademie 1846, pp 1-59 = Kleine 
Schriften III 171-235. 

* liber die Aussprache des Gothischen (1862). 

* Getica LX 316. 
° L 266. . 

" XL 209. 



INTRODUCTION 3 

Andag was the son of Andela who was descended from 
the family of the Amah, The son of Andag and Candac's 
sister was Gunthigis (or Baza), whose notary Jordanes 
was. Paria, the grandfather of Jordanes, had served 
Candac in the same capacity. It would appear from 
Mommsen's text that the name of Jordanes' father was 
Alanoviiatnuthis. For this long and unwieldly word 
Erhardt''' suggested the reading Alanorum diicis, to be 
taken in apposition with Candacis. The conjecture 
was reasonable enough; the serious objection to it is 
the unnatural omission of his father's name in a passage 
where Jordanes is avowedly giving an account of his 
ancestry. Grienberger^ more plausibly explains the form 
as ALAN. D. UIIAMUThlS; that is, the abbreviation of 
Alanorum ducis (in apposition with the preceding Canda- 
cis) followed by the name of Jordanes' father, which 
would thus be Uiianmth (Gothic V eihanwths) . 

His Nationality. This Gothic name accords also with 
the statement of the author himself as to his national- 
ity,® and tends to overthrow Mommsen's theory that in 
reality he belonged to the tribe of the Alani, like the 
leader whom he served.^*' Not only is this an unneces- 
sary assumption, but if Jordanes belonged to that tribe 
he might well be expected to mention the fact explicitly 
in the passage quoted above. It is difficult to find in the 
Getica any such prejudice in favor of the Alani as 
Mommsen mentions, and Jordanes has certainly not 

' Gottingische gelehrte Anzeigen ly (1886), pp. 669-708. 

'Die Vorfahren des Jordanes, Germania 34 (1889), pp. 406-409. 

* LX 2ii6: nee me quis in favorem gentis praedictae, quasi ex ipsa 
trahenti originem, aliqua addidisse credat. 

" Friedrich (Uber die Kontroversen Fragen ini Leben des got- 
ischen Geschichtschreiber's Jordanes, Sb. d. philos.-philol. u. hist. Kl. 
d. K. B. Ak. d. W. 1907, III pp. 379-442) cites a number of in- 
stances of leaders of barbarian tribes whose secretaries were not 
of the same race as themselves. 



4 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

availed himself of the opportunity here presented to 
glorify Candac, as he could easily have done if he were 
eager to bring this race into prominence. It seems more 
reasonable therefore to take his words in their simplest 
and most obvious meaning when he says that he traces 
his descent from the race of the Goths. 

His Position in Life. The office of secretary in mili- 
tary life was a position of some distinction, and was 
often conferred by leaders upon their equals ;^^ in this case 
the fact that Paria, the grandfather of Jordanes, had held 
a like office under Candac gives added distinction to the 
secretaryship as an honor perhaps hereditary in this fam- 
ily. The Gunthigis or Baza whom Jordanes served has 
been identified with some plausibility by Friedrich^- with 
Godigisclus, a leader of the Goths mentioned by Proco- 
pius/^ and further with the Batza of Marcellinus Comes/^ 
who was in 536 dtix of the Euphrates limes and entrusted 
with the defense of the empire's farthest frontier. Fried- 
rich argues that Jordanes must have resigned his office 
before this year (since he shows no intimate knowledge 
of Asia), acting as secretary for Gunthigis only during 
the time that he was stationed in the European part of 
the Eastern Empire, and accordingly that a considerable 
space of time elapsed between the resignation of his office 

" See for example Anonymus Valesianus 38 : Orestes Pan- 
nonius eo tempore, quando Attila in Italiam- venit, se illi iunxit et 
eius notarius factus fuerat: unde profecit et usque ad patridatu^ 
dignitatem pervenit. 



"0. c. 



^ Bell. Pers. I 8 (on the years 502-505); ToSlSi(rK\6sTe KalB^a-a-at 
T6r6oi dvdpes. Compare with this the mention of nostri temporis 
Bessa patricius by Jordanes in the same passage (L 265-266) with 
Gunthicis . . . mag. mil. 

" On the year 536 : limitem Euphratesiae ingressa, ubi Batsas 
dux eosdem partim blanditiis partim districtione pacifica fovit et 
inhiantes bellare repressit. 



INTRODUCTION 5 

and the writing of the Getica}^ At all events it is 
evident that Jordanes, writing in 551, was an elderiy man 
when he composed his history : for his grandfather was 
almost contemporary with the Battle of the Catalaunian 
Plains in 451 — just a century before — and he himself had 
served the son of a man who had taken part in the same 
conflict.^*^ 

His Ecclesiastical Condition. The words ante con- 
versioneni meam in the passage quoted above have occa- 
sioned much difference of opinion with regard to the 
author's status during the latter part of his life. The 
phrase has been variously interpreted as referring to 
conversion to Christianity,^^ conversion from Arianism to 
the Nicene belief, ^^ entrance upon the monastic state,^^ 
or merely a withdrawal from everyday activities into a 
life of meditation and quiet. "*^ It is by no means neces- 
sary to infer from these words that Jordanes became a 
monk, as Mommsen sought to prove, -^ for the expression 
may just as well be understood to refer to entrance upon 
the life of an ecclesiastic,^- and Jordanes is probably to 

"In further support of which see the letter to Vigilius prefaced 
to the Romana: me longo per tempore dormieiitem vestris tandem 
interrogationibus excitastis. 

"See Erhardt, I.e. 

" Bergmiiller, Einige Bemerkungen zur Latinitat des Jordanes. 
Progr. Augsburg 1903. 

^ Ebert, Allgemeine Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters 
(Leipzig 1889), p. 557, n. 2. 

^ So Mommsen, following Muratori (Scriptores rerum Italicarum 
Vol. I, 1723). In support of his view he quotes the preface of the 
de orthographia of Cassiodorus (gramni. Lat. ed. Keil 7, 144) : 
post commcnta psalterii, ubi . . . conversionis meae tempore 
primum studium laboris impendi. 

*° Friedrich, o.c. pp. 395-402, feels convinced that he became a 
religiosus. 

" Mommsen claimed further that he wrote in a Moesian, Thracian 
or Illyrian Monastery (Introduction to the Getica p. ix, and Momm- 
sen's edition of Marcellinus Comes p. 53). 

^ See Simson, Neues Archiv 22, pp. 741-743 ; Pope Gelasius I 



6 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

be identified with the Bishop Jordanes of Crotona who 
was with Pope VigiHus in Constantinople in the 
year 55 1.-^ 

Mommsen opposed the theory that Jordanes was a 
bishop, asserting that he became and remained a simple 
monk. Yet the first class of manuscripts calls him epis- 
copus^* in the title of the Romana, while the third class, 
in the title of the Getica, speaks of him as Bishop of 
Ravenna. This he certainly was not, as Miiratori 
showed,-^ basing his proof on an extremely accurate list 
of the archbishops of Ravenna by Rubens, Ughelli and 
others. Moreover we find no trace of Jordanes in the 
lives of these prelates by Agnellus, who wrote in the 
ninth century under the Emperor Lothar I. It is hard 
to believe that he could have escaped the investigations 
of Agnellus, particularly as the church at Ravenna was 
so celebrated and abundantly supplied with records. 
Simson's attempt-*^ to show that Jordanes was possibly a 
bishop of Africa was not very successful, and has found 
few supporters. But there was a Bishop of Crotona 
named Jordanes who was in Constantinople with Pope 
Vigilius in the year 551, and it seems reasonably cer- 
tain that he is identical with the author of the Getica.^'^ 

We find mention of Bishop Jordanes in the document 

(Thiel p. 370) : sub religiosae conversionts obtentu vel ad mpnasteria 
scse conferre, vel ad ecclesiasticum famulatum . . . indiffcrenter 
admitti. 

^ See below (p. 7-10). There was also a lordanes defensor eccle- 
siae Romanae in 556 (mentioned by Pope Pelagius in his fifth" 
letter to the bishops of Tuscia, Mansi 9, 716). 

" So also Sigebert of Gembloux, de script, eccl. 35 : lordanns 
episcoptis Gothorum scripsit historiam. 

^ Muratori, Scriptores i, 189. 

"N. A. 22, 741-747. 

"Among the adherents to this theory are Bessell, Cassell, Er- 
hardt, Grimm, von Gutschmid, Manitius, Martens, Schirren and 
Wattenbach. 



INTRODUCTION 7 

known as the Damnatio Theodori^^ in which the Pope 
says : nos . . . cum Dacio Mediolanensi . . . Paschasio 
Aletrino atqiie lordane Crotonensi fratribus et episcopis 
nostris. As Bishop of Crotona in Bruttium Jordanes 
would have Hved not far from the monastery (monas- 
terium Vivariense) to which Cassiodorus had retired in 
his old age. Here then is the one place where he might 
easily have obtained the twelve books of the Gothic His- 
tory of Cassiodorus, -'^ and his inability to refer to them 
later when he was actually writing his compilation^^ 
would be explained by his absence in Constantinople. 

It is furthermore probable that he wrote his work at 
Constantinople because of his evident ignorance of the 
later and contemporary events in Italy and his accurate 
knowledge of the trend of affairs in the Eastern Em- 
pire.^^ His eulogy of the Emperor Justinian and his 
general Belisarius is also just what might be expected 
from one who wrote in the vicinity of the imperial court. 
And finally it has been pointed out that his words to 
Castalius in the introduction to the Getica: si quid parum 
dictum est et tti, ut vicinus genti, commemoras, adde, are 
peculiarly appropriate if we may suppose that his friend 
was a fellow-townsman of his and lived at Crotona, which 
was in close contact with the Goths but not actually in 
their possession. 

The fact that the Romana is dedicated to a Vigilius has 
made this theory still more plausible, and it is hard to 
avoid the conclusion that this Vigilius is the Pope of 
that name. Mommsen follows Ebert^- in denying even 

'^ Acta concil torn. 5, p. 1314; Mansi 9, p. 60. 

^,See below (p. 10). 

^ Getica, preface 2. 

'^Friedrich {o.c. pp. 402-428) in support of his theory that Jor- 
danes wrote in Thessalonica cites arguments which indicate an 
eastern rather than a western origin of the work and which are 
at least equally applicable to Constantinople. 

^^^ Geschichte d. christlich lat. Lit. i, pp. 556-562 (1889). 



8 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

the possibility of this, and Friedrich still more scornfully 
rejects the hypothesis ;^^ their arguments are based on 
both the fomi and the content of the letter to Vigilius 
which forms the introduction to the Romana. With re- 
gard to the salutation, nohilissime f rater, and later novi- 
lissime et magnifice f rater, while it is not, indeed, the 
way in which a simple monk would have addressed the 
pope, yet a bishop might perhaps use such expressions to- 
one who was his friend. And, as Grimm has pointed out,^* 
these words of greeting sound more respectful than the 
frater Castali and f rater carissiuie in the opening sections 
of the Getica.^^ Even so, frater carissime is the very 
salutation used by Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, in a 
letter^*' to the Roman Pope Cornelius in the year 250- 
251, and again in 433 we find John, Bishop of Antioch, 
addressing Pope Xystus simply as "brother. "^'^ 

It will be remembered too that Pope Vigilius held the 
office under trying circumstances which detracted from 

^^P- 433: So toricht spricht kein Bischof oder gar ein romischer 
defensor ecclesme zu einem Papst. Others who agree with Momm- 
sen on this point are Teuffel § 485 and Werner, Die Latinitat der 
Getica des Jordanis, Halle 1908. 

'^ Kleinere Schriften 3, pp. 171-235. 

" Friedrich claims that no argument can be based upon a com- 
parison of the salutations of these two letters because the intro- 
duction of the Getica is borrowed from Rufinus, asserting that 
even the words frater Castali merely correspond to the frater 
Heracli of that author! And since magnificus was a title of respect 
bestowed upon the holders of certain offices of importance, he 
would see in Jordanes, Castalius and Vigilius three men in secular 
life, perhaps veterans of the imperial army. Yet Friedrich else- 
where calls attention to the fact that Pope Vigilius was of dis- 
tinguished ancestry, a Roman and the son of a consul, which might 
in itself account for such a title of respect, and further the use 
of the word frater in both letters is a significant fact; it surely 
savors more of ecclesiastical than military life. 

^In Epist. roman. pontif. ed. Constant, Paris 1721, pp. 125, 

131, 139- 
"Ibid. p. 1242. 



INTRODUCTION 9 

the dignity usual to the position. He was made Pope at 
Rome in 537 through the influence of BeHsarius and at 
the request of the Empress Theodora, who hoped that 
he would be unorthodox. In 547 he was summoned to 
Constantinople because of his refusal to sign the Three 
Chapters issued by Justinian. It was not until 554 that 
he finally obtained permission to return to Italy, and 
during the seven years of his captivity — for he was vir- 
tually a prisoner in Constantinople — he was much perse- 
cuted by the imperial party, and was twice compelled to 
flee to a church for sanctuary. ^^ It was in Constantinople 
and in 551, the very year when Jordanes was writing the 
Romana and Getica, that Vigilius issued the Damnatio 
Theodori from which we have quoted above a sentence 
containing the name Jordanes.^** 

Bearing these facts in mind, let us now glance at the 
dedication of the Romana to Vigilius, and see if its con- 
tent is such as to preclude its having been written to the 
pope of that name. Jordanes says that he is sending the 
universal history which he has just completed iungens ei 
aliud volumen de origine actttsque Getice gentis, quam 
iam dudum communi aniico Cast alio ededissem, qiiatinus 
diversarum gentium calamitate conperta ab omni erumna 
liberuni te fieri cupias et ad deiim coiivertas, qui est vera 
lihertas. legens ergo utrosqiie lihellos, scito quod dili- 
genti mundo semper necessitas imminet. tu vero auscidta 
lohannem apostolum, qui ait: 'carissimi, nolite dilegere 
mundiim neqiie ea que in mundo sunt, quia mundus tran- 
sit et concupiscentia eius: qui autem fecerit voluntatem 
dei, manet in aeternum.' estoque toto corde diligens 
deum et proximum, tit adimpleas legem et ores pro me 
novilissime et magnifice frater. 

If this, as Mommsen would have us believe, is merely 

** See Vigilius Encyclica p. 55 Migne. 
^^ See above (p. 7). 



lO JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

an exhortation to a friend, bidding him to follow his 
own example, renounce the world, and become a monk, 
why should Jordanes already address him as "brother" 
and ask for his prayers ? On the contrary, we can easily 
understand these words as an attempt on the part of 
Jordanes to console his distinguished friend in the midst 
of his trials — and we have seen that this pope had his 
share of cares and tribulations — by recalling to his mind 
the disasters that have overtaken men in all ages, and 
by exhorting him anew to find freedom from anxiety in 
trusting God's purposes, while he continues steadfast in 
doing what he feels is the divine will, and persists in 
that love of God and of his neighbor which is the ful- 
filling of the law. 

His Literary Activity. There are two books that 
have come down under the name of Jordanes. One is a 
compendium of universal history, which he entitled De 
summa temporum vel origine actibiisqiie gentis Roman- 
orum. The other is the abbreviation of the Gothic His- 
tory of Cassiodorus, a large work of twelve books which 
Jordanes reduced to the small pamphlet which alone has 
survived. This, like the original work of which it is 
an abridgment, is entitled De origine actibusque Ge- 
tariim. The terms Romana and Getica, introduced by 
Mommsen, are most convenient for compendious refer- 
ence to the two works. 

As we learn from Jordanes himself in the introductory 
sections of the Getica, he was engaged in the work of 
"the abbreviation of the Chronicles," that is, he was writ- 
ing the Romana, when his friend Castalius requested him 
to undertake the composition of the Gothic History. So 
laying aside for a time the work he had in hand (which 
was probably almost completed), he first wrote and pub- 
lished the Getica and then returned to the Romana. The 



INTRODUCTION II 

latter work was dedicated to Vigilius and sent to him 
with the Getica.^^ 

Where the books were written. Where Jordanes 
was when he wrote these books is a matter of dispute. 
Of course if the author can be identified with that Bishop 
Jordanes who accompanied Pope VigiHus to Constanti- 
nople, this difficulty is at once cleared up; and we have 
tried to show the reasonableness of this theory. 

Mommsen believed that Jordanes makes his whole 
narrative hinge upon the home of his ancestors, namely 
the two Roman provinces of Scythia, with its capital at 
Tomi, and Moesia Inferior, with its capital at Mar- 
cianople. He found too that there is an enormously dis- 
proportionate number of Moesian names in the Getica 
compared with those belonging to other provinces of the 
empire. He believed he could discover a pushing for- 
ward of Moesia and Thrace and an intimate acquaintance 
with these regions, from which he drew the conclusion 
that Jordanes was himself a Moeso-Goth dwelling in this 
part of the country, and that he wrote his book perhaps 
at Tomi, Marcianople or Anchiali.^^ 

And yet, as Erhardt^^ and Schirren^^ have shown, even 
granting Mommsen's premises, the conclusions he draws 
therefrom do not necessarily follow. For these regions 
were in a sense the cradle of the race, and must naturally 
have a central interest for all Goths, and the subject 
itself makes it proper that they should be placed in the 
foreground. Jordanes' personal knowledge of the coun- 
try may be easily explained by his previous office as notary, 
and it is not necessary to assume that he continued to 

** See the letter to Vigilius § 4. 

"■ Friedrich (pp. 402-428) adduces a number of arguments in 
support of an eastern origin, and favors Thessalonica as the place 
of writing. 

*^G6tt. gel. Anzeigen 1886 N. 17 p. 669. 

*^ Deutsche Literaturzeitung 1882 N. 40 p. 1420. 



12 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

dwell in Moesia and wrote his books there just because he 
shows an intimate acquaintance with these regions. In 
fact, when Jordanes borrowed the work of Cassiodorus 
from his steward (dispensator) for a three days' read- 
ing"*"* he must naturally have lived — for the time at least — 
in the neighborhood of where the book was, and we know 
that Cassiodorus lived only in Bruttium."*^ Of course it 
does not follow that Jordanes wrote in the place where 
he read the book of Cassiodorus, for his own language 
indicates a composition considerably later than the read- 
ing. The weight of evidence is still in favor of Constan- 
tinople rather than Moesia. The very fact that he calls 
upon the absent Castalius to corroborate his statements 
as "a neighbor to the race" seems to show that he wrote 
from the non-Gothic Constantinople, and not from 
Moesia, where remnants of the Gothic race were still 
dwelling in their ancestral regions. 

Date of Composition of the Romana, 551 A.D. There 
can be little doubt with regard to the date of the completed 
composition of the Romana, for Jordanes himself says in 
his introduction^*^ that he wrote it in vicensimo quarto 
anno lustiniani imperatoris, and again in the body of the 
work"*" we find this sentence : lustiniamis imperator re gnat 
tarn iuhante domino ann. XXIIII. The twenty-fourth year 
of the reign of Justinian is the year beginning April i, 
551. The content of the work is in agreement with these 
statements of the author, for we find recorded the death 
of Germanus^^ which occurred in the autumn of 550 and 
the birth of his posthumous son. Mention is likewise 
made of the ''daily"^^ instantia . . . Bulganmi, Antium 



4A 



*^ Getica preface 2. 

So W. A. in Lit. Centralblatt 1883 p. 1060. 
** Romana § 4. 
" Romana § 363. 
*^ Romana § 383. 
*' Romana § 388. 



INTRODUCTION 1 3 

et Sclavinorum (that is, their expedition into Thrace in 
550), and finally"^ of the victory of the Lombards over 
the Gepidae in 551. On the other hand, there is no men- 
tion of later events. 

Of the Getica,^55| A.D. If then Jordanes wrote the 
Getica after he had begun the Romana, and pubHshed it 
first, we may conckide that it too was written in 551. In 
this work also we find the death of Germanus mentioned, 
while there is no record of events later than those re- 
counted in the Romana. Furthermore, he speaks of the 
plague^^ qiiod nos ante Jios novem annos experti sumus. 
Now this is probably the pestilence which arose in Egypt^^ 
in 541, reached Byzantium in October 542, and there 
caused great desolation for four months, and finally in 
543 devastated Italy. So this too serves to support the 
opinion that the Getica was written in 551. Jordanes 
says, to be sure, in the preface to the Romana that he has 
published the Getica "iam dudum," but this expression 
may readily indicate as short an interval as several 
months. 

Nature of the Work. Now as already seen, Jordanes 
himself admits that the Getica is merely an abridgment 
of the history of Cassiodorus. Furthermore he claims 
that in writing it he was obliged to rely largely upon his 
memory, as he did not have the original work before him 
at the time.^^ He says of the twelve books of the Gothic 
History •^'^ "The words I recall not, but the sense and the 
deeds related I think I retain entire. To this I have added 
fitting matters from some Greek and Latin histories. I 

^Romana §§ 386, 387; Procopius bell. Goth. 4, 25 p. 638. 
"^ Getica xix 104. 
" See Clinton's Fasti for 542. 

"^Friedrich (p. 438) flatly refuses to believe tins statement: "Er 
hatte sie ja in Wirklichkeit vor sich." 
" Getica preface 2, 3. 



14 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

have also put in an introduction and a conclusion, and 
have inserted many things of my own authorship." 

His Originality. These are statements hard to believe. 
His introduction, as we shall see,^^ is taken almost word 
for word from Rufinus. At the end of the work, in re- 
lating events not found in the work of Cassiodorus, he 
makes use of Marcellinus Comes as an authority without 
once mentioning him — though to be sure we must credit 
him here with jfirst-hand quotation. Most of the sixteen 
authors from whom he quotes as if from personal knowl- 
edge were perhaps not known to him at all except at 
second hand, for in the Romana, written but a short 
time before, he apparently knows nothing of these sources, 
even when relating the same events on which he cites 
them as authorities in the Getica. The inference is that 
he has taken over quotations and references to sources 
directly from the work of Cassiodorus. As to the "many 
things of my own authorship" which Jordanes claims to 
have inserted, it is difficult indeed to locate many of 
these. Mommsen goes so far as to believe that almost his 
sole original contribution consists in quotations from 
Orosius at first hand!^*' The unfairness of Mommsen's 
view lies in the fact that he overlooks the personal tone 
of the style of Jordanes, which colors the entire work, 
and that he minimizes the evident joining and fitting that 
have to be done to connect the parts of the narrative. 
Perhaps Jordanes does little more than bow in and bow 
out his authors as they appear and disappear ; but this at 
least he does. Moreover we must not underestimate our 
indebtedness to this ecclesiastic whose compiled book has 
become practically the sole authority for much of our 
information about the Goths, and notably for the Battle 

■^Literary Sources (p. 36). 
"'See Literary Sources (p. 26). 



INTRODUCTION IS 

of the Catalaunian Plains (451 A.D.) and Attila's mem- 
orable defeat, so far-reaching in its consequences. 

Cassiodorus Senator. Cassiodorus Senator, the great 
statesman and man of letters, who was secretary both to 
Theodoric the Great and to Athalaric, his grandson and 
successor, wrote his history at the personal bidding of 
Theodoric.^^ In it (as Cassiodorus himself says in a 
speech'^ ^ written for the young King Athalaric) "he 
carried his researches up to the very cradle of the Gothic 
race, gathering from the stores of his learning what even 
hoar antiquity scarce remembered. He drew forth the 
kings of the Goths from the dim lurking-place of ages, 
restoring to the Amal line the splendor that truly belonged 
to it, and clearly proving that for seventeen generations 
Athalaric's ancestors had been kings. Thus did he assign 
a Roman origin to Gothic history, weaving as it were into 
one chaplet the flowers which he had culled from the 
pages of widely scattered authors." 

"Consider therefore," Athalaric continues in his ad- 
dress to the Roman senate, "what love he showed to you 
in praising us, by his proof that the nation of your sover- 
eign has been from antiquity a marvellous people ; so that 
ye who from the days of your forefathers have ever been 
deemed noble, are still ruled by the ancient progeny of 
kings." 

The Aim of Cassiodorus. His intention then was to 
reconcile the Romans to the rule of those whom they 
regarded as barbarians by glorifying the Gothic race in 
general, tracing its history back into the dim past and 
bringing it into close contact with the great classical na- 
tions of antiquity, and to exalt in particular the House of 

" Usener's Anecdoton Holderi p. 4; and see the Literary Sources 
(p. 24). On the spelling Cassidor(i)us, see Manitius, Geschichte 
der Lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, I page 39. 

°' Cassiodorus Var. g, 25, Hodgkin's version. This is a eulogy of 
Cassiodorus upon his appointment as Praetorian Prefect in 533 A.D. 



1 6 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

the Amali, a line of kings from whom Theodoric traced 
his descent. In order to win for his race a place in the 
remote past, he identified the Goths with the Getae and 
with the Scythians — a very vague term which covered 
practically all the tribes who had their homes east of the 
Vistula and Danube and north of the Black Sea. And 
the Amazons, according to his account, were Gothic 
women. Though he may have done this in good faith, 
these are mistaken identifications, and accordingly we 
must reject as evidence for true history the chapters that 
deal with these peoples.^^ 

The Aim of Jordanes. When Jordanes wrote his 
abridgment of this great work, he rested his hope for 
the future of the Gothic race as much upon the Romans 
as upon his own people. It is the union of the two races 
that he feels sure will bring peace and prosperity to both 
in the days to come. So he refers frequently^^ to the 
marriage of Mathesuentha the Goth to Germanus the 
Roman, and of their young son Germanus he says :^^ 
"This union of the race of the Anicii with the stock of 
the Amali gives hopeful promise, by the Lord's favor, 
to both peoples." 

So it is evident that the Getica, though primarily a his- 
torical work, naturally concludes somewhat in the manner 
of a political pamphlet, portraying the reconcilement of 
Goth and Roman under the beneficent rule of Justinian. 

Language and Style. ^^^ To the student of classical 
Latin only, the text of Jordanes as exhibited in Momm- 

^' Hodgkin omits entirely chapters V-XIII of the Getica in using 
Jordanes as a source. 
•*XIV 8i, XLVIII 251, LX 314. 

•^LX3i4. 

*^* The Latinity of Jordanes has been investigated by Wolfflin 
(Arch. f. 1. Lex. 11, 361), Bergmiiller (Augsburg 1903), and most 
recently and exhaustively by Fritz Werner (Halle 1908), whose 
satisfactory exposition I have followed. 



INTRODUCTION 1 7 

sen's edition appears uncouth and almost barbarous. 
Interchange of vowel sounds gives rise to such forms as 
paenitus, Grecia, efoehi, distinavit, helaritatem, prumtis- 
simum^ Eoropam. Consonantal changes are fully as fre- 
quent, resulting in such spellings as lacriniaviliter, Atri- 
atici, storicus, hahundans, Cauchasum. In consequence 
of the omission of final m the accusative is often identical 
in form with the ablative, as mann movent, confidentia 
addehat, and sometimes -um is represented by -o, as in 
Danubio transtneantes. 

As regards inflection, there are fourth declension 
words now changed to the second (laco, grados), and 
conversely (imnensu) ; third declension adjectives 
changed to the second declension (acri ingenii) and sec- 
ond to third (magnaniniis) . There are ablatives of i 
stems in e {mare), datives in e {tali hoste), and nouns 
ordinarily inflected now changed to indeclinables (a cor- 
piis, foedus inito). There are also many changes in 
gender, as may be seen from such phrases as laetus vid- 
giis, iugfis antefatus, quod dolus reminiscens. In matters 
of conjugation, we find deponents that have become active 
{renwrasse) and the reverse (diitqiie certati), and 
frequent interchange of conjugations {inquiret, 3rd. 
sing. pres. indie, cognoscent, 3rd. plu. pres. indie, 
accersicntes). 

In syntax the changes are no less marked. Preposi- 
tions occur in combination with unexpected cases ( inter 
Danubinm Margiimqne fluminibus; a Pannonios fines 
. . . distabat; cum mnltas opes; sine ipsos). Among 
other peculiarities in the use of cases the following ex- 
amples may be cited : oninem . . . phylosphiam eos in- 
struxit; equo insidens; ipsiiis urbis ferre subsidium; vix 
biennio . . . perseverantes; Orestem interfectimi (accu- 
sative absolute). Verb constructions are marked by 
many changes of voice, mood and tense : there are pres- 



l8 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

ent participles used like perfects (egressi . . . et 
transcuntes), unusual infinitive combinations {quis . . . 
cedere faciehat armatos?), and indicatives in indirect 
questions {doceamiis, qnomodo . . . explevit). The use 
of conjunctions is likewise distinguished by many pecu- 
liarities, such as the use of quia and the indicative in 
indirect discourse, a confusion of duin and cuvi, inox 
equivalent to siiniil atque, and a great variety in condi- 
tional usage. Moreover the periodic structure has in 
large measure disappeared. Clauses and phrases whether 
of principal or subordinate character are loosely swung 
along in careless and sometimes clumsy succession, not 
infrequently tangling the sense and at times making close 
translation impossible. 

Finally, there are many changes in the meanings of 
words, and substitutions of new words for the familiar 
expressions of classical Latin, as : ampins, grandis and int- 
inensiis for inagnus; proprius for siiiis; gcrrnamis for 
f rater; solacinm for auxilmm; cizntas for urbs. We find 
also patria synonymous with terra, pelagiis usurping the 
place of mare, and pars and plaga used as equivalents for 
regio. There is a frequent use of abstracts, and some 
specifically Christian phrases of course appear in the 
work of this ecclesiastic. Jordanes is fond of circum- 
locutions and sententious utterances, and his style is at 
times almost hopelessly confusing. In seeking a cause for 
these many and exasperating peculiarities of form and ex- 
pression, we must take account not only of the changing 
language itself, with its many alterations similar in 
nature to the changes in Western Latin, glimmerings 
which preceded the dawn of the Romance languages, but 
also of the candid confession of this Gothic secretary to 
whom Latin was at best an imperfectly mastered foreign 
tongue : ego . . . agramatus lordannis ante conversio- 
nem meam . . . ftu. 



2. THE LITERARY SOURCES USED 
IN THE GETICA 

In the preface to his Getica, after stating that the book 
is an epitome of the larger Gothic History of Cassiodorus 
Senator, Jordanes says :^- "To this I have added fitting 
matters from some Greek and Latin histories," and in the 
chapters that follow sixteen ancient writers are cited as 
authorities. Besides those whom he mentions, some seven 
or eight others have evidently been used. 

The question of the literary sources of Jordanes was 
investigated by Sybel,^^ and again by Mommsen in 
his edition. The following consideration of the sources 
is largely an abridgment of Mommsen's thorough treat- 
ment of the subject, although in several important points 
(notably his opinion of the value of the unknown writer 
Ablabius and his low estimate of the personal element in 
Jordanes' work) his views cannot be accepted without 
question. The authorities mentioned by Jordanes are here 
taken up in alphabetical order; his indebtedness to each 
can be more clearly traced by comparing the text of the 
Getica with the passages cited in Mommsen's footnotes 
and here given in the commentary. 

Ablabius. This otherwise unknown descriptor Gotho- 

runi gentis egregius is mentioned three times by Jordanes : 

once his verissima historia^^ is cited as authority, and in 

two other passages he is referred to as Ablabitts . . . 

storicus.^^ He can not be identified with any writer 

*^ Preface 3. 

'^ De fontibus libri lordanis de orlgine actuque Getarum, Berlin 
1838. 
" IV 28. 
•=XIV 82, XXIII 117. 

19 



20 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

known to have borne this name (which is not an uncom- 
mon one), and it is not even clear whether he was a Greek, 
a Roman or a Goth.^^ Upon this meagre foundation of 
fact Mommsen has built up an elaborate theory, ascrib- 
ing to Ablabius all the material in the Getica which comes 
ultimately from narratives of the Goths. According to 
his view Cassiodorus could hardly have collected from the 
lips of the people such legends and traditions, as he was 
busied his life long with affairs of state, and perhaps not 
even skilled in the Gothic tongue, as he was a Bruttian by 
birth. In fact he undertakes to prove that Cassiodorus 
condemned oral tradition as a source in saying:®^ 
nee eorum fabnias aliciihi repperimus scriptas, qui eos 
(the Goths) dicunt in Brittania . . . in servitnte redactos 
et in uniiis caballi praetio a quodam ereptos, adding fur- 
ther: nos potius lectioni credimns qiiam fabitlis anilibus 
coftsentimus. Concluding therefore that he used literary 
sources entirely, Mommsen decides that of all the authors 
mentioned by Jordanes the only one to whom such legends 
can be attributed is Ablabius. He regards this unknown 
writer as the author of a book on Gothic History (rather 
than of a Roman History merely containing references 
to the Goths), and believes that his work concerned itself 
largely with the origins of that race. And since the third 
passage^^ quoted as from Ablabius seems really to be 
from Dexippus, Mommsen makes the further inference 
that Greek too was beyond the attainments of Cassiodorus, 
and that most of the references to Greek authors (and 
notably those to Priscus) are really quoted through Abla- 
bius.^^ Mommsen believed, therefore, that Cassiodorus 

°*The passage about the HeruH (XXIII 117) might just as well 
be derived from a Greek as from a Roman writer. 

" V 38. 

** See XXIII 117, and commentary. 

*" To support this theory Mommsen points out that what is said 
of Vidigoia (V 43, XXXIV 178) is undoubtedly derived from the 
same author as the Gothic legends. 



INTRODUCTION 21 

was indebted to this Ablabius for the greatest and most 
valuable part of his Gothic History, including the first 
part of the work that deals with the three abodes of the 
Goths, ''''^ and among the passages derived from Ablabius 
he would include XI 72, XI 69, III, XIV, XVII, 
XXIII 116. 

Schirren''^^ presented some strong objections to this 
highly complicated theory of the importance of Ablabius. 
He justly observes that Mommsen goes too far in assign- 
ing to this Ablabius practically everything in Jordanes 
that goes back to old Gothic tradition, in spite of the fact 
that no definite statements can be made about the man 
or his work. Indeed there is no real proof of any specific 
Gothic tradition that can be attributed to him, and in the 
passages that can be assigned with certainty to Ablabius 
as a source his knowledge is only such as a Greek writer 
might have had. In his rebuttal of Mommsen's view 
Schirren makes three main points : 

(i ) Mommsen states : omnes (referring to the passages 
in which this author is mentioned) ostendnnt Ablabium 
egisse de Gothoriim originihus. On the contrary, in one 
of the three instances we must read this meaning into 
the passage, and in the other two we cannot even do that 
much. 

(2) Mommsen claims that Ablabius deserves high place 
as an author because Jordanes speaks of him as descriptor 
Gothonmi gentis egregius. We might with equal right 
have judged Jordanes himself, had his works been lost, 
by the reference in the anonymous Geographer of Ra- 
venna (4, 14) : lordanis Cosniographiis subtilius exposuit. 

(3) As to the various passages cited as probably ascrib- 
able to Ablabius, some are thus assigned arbitrarily (for 

"*V 38-42. Mommsen held that this was practically attributed to 
Ablabius by the statement in XIV 82. 
" Deutsche Literaturzeitung 1882, N. 40, pp. 1420-1424. 



22 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

example, XI 69 and XI 'J2), and some can even be defin- 
itely referred to another writer. So the stemma Aina- 
lorum in XIV is almost certainly to be attributed to 
Cassiodorus, who emphatically claims it as his own. 

So that whereas Mommsen laments the lost Herodotus 
of the Goths, and would even favor changing the reading 
Favins in XXIX 151 to Ahlabiiis, despite all the manu- 
scripts, we find that everything that may be clearly as- 
signed to Ablabius corresponds with Dexippus, and the 
other passages are attributed to Ablabius on very doubt- 
ful grounds. Now regarding Mommsen's argument from 
the sentences found in V 38 : nee eorttm fabulas . . . 
consentimus. He holds, as has been seen, that this is a 
remark made by Cassiodorus, and that Cassiodorus could 
not have used any oral Gothic tradition but was indebted 
to reading (leetioni) for everything. As to the story 
about the horse, which has called forth the author's disap- 
proval, Mommsen believes Cassiodorus undoubtedly 
found it mentioned in some author. But the speaker 
expressly states that he nowhere found the story in 
written form. So it must have come to him orally, and 
moreover as a generally known tale (as is seen from the 
use of the plural eormn). Consequently Cassiodorus 
did have some knowledge of Gothic tradition, and Momm.- 
sen's theory, based on the opposite assumption, falls to 
the ground. Schirren suggests that it is perhaps more 
plausible to ascribe this passage directly to Jordanes him- 
self, a view made more probable by the use of the first 
person repperinius. Then the word leetioni would refer to 
Cassiodorus, whom Jordanes followed. As to the fable 
itself, it may have been a story not known to Cassiodorus 
at all — perhaps a good joke told at Constantinople at 
the expense of the Goths. 



INTRODUCTION 



23 



Cassiodorus."- Flavius Magnus Aureliiis Cassiodorus 
Senator (about 487 — about 583) of Bruttii was one of 
the most eminent men of his time and came of distin- 
guished ancestors; his grandfather had been tribune and 
notariiis under Valentinian III, who died in 455; his 
father filled the highest offices under Odoacer and Theo- 
doric, and was made patrician by the latter. He himself 
was quaestor sacri palatii shortly after 500, afterwards 
patrician, and then in the year 514 consul ordinarius and 
finally magister officionim. This office he seems to have 
held for many years; at any rate, he held it in 526 when 
Theodoric died and his grandson Athalaric succeeded to 
the throne, but he resigned it when appointed praefectus 
praetorio in 533-534- In the year 534, when Athalaric 
died, Cassiodorus delivered a public eulogy of his suc- 
cessor Theodahad, and both under him and under Vitiges 
(who became king in 536) he held the office of quaestor. 
When the Goths were overcome he forsook secular life 
and became a monk. In the monastery he founded Cas- 
siodorus wrote a number of theological, historical and 
educational works, and sought to impress upon his monks 
the value of the ancient literature. Even after his ninety- 
third year he wrote a book on orthography, and died 
probably as late as his ninety-fifth year. 

Of his work on Gothic history we learn solely from 
Jordanes and from Cassiodorus himself. The earliest 
mention he makes of it is in a letter written in 533 to 
the senate of Rome.'^ He writes in Athalaric's name of 
himself : tetcndit se . . . in antiquam prosapiain nostram 
lectione discens quod vix maiorum notitia cana retinebat. 
iste reges Gothorum longa ohlivione celatos latibido vetu^ 
statis eduxit. iste Amalos cum generis sui claritate resti- 

"For his life see Mommsen's Introduction (from which this ac- 
count is taken) and Hermann Usener: Festschrift zur Philo- 
logenversammlung in Wiesbaden 1877, p. 66 onward. 

" Var. 9, 25. 



24 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

tuit, evidenter ostendens in decimam septimam progeniem 
stirpem nos habere regalem. originem Gothicam histo- 
riain fecit esse Romanam colligens quasi in iinani coronam 
germen floridiim quod per librorum campos passim fuerat 
ante dispersum. perpendite quantum vos in nostra laude 
dilexerit, qui vestri principis nationem docuit ab antiqui- 
tate mirabilem, ut, sicut fuistis a maioribus semper nobiles 
aestimati, ita vos regum antiqua progenies imperaret. 

When made praefectus praetorio and entering upon his 
office he wrote a letter to the senate^^ in which he makes 
mention of the Hne of Amal kings, which is taken from 
this work, and again''"'^ he refers to a passage in his his- 
tory which Jordanes has epitomized. '^'^ Finally, in the 
preface to his Variae, apparently written in 538, his 
friends address him thus : duodecim libris Gothorum his- 
toriam defloratis prosperitatibus condidisti: cum tibi in 
illis fuerit secundus eventus, quid ambigis et haec publico 
dare, qui iam cognosceris dicendi tirocinia posuissef 

Moreover in the Codex Caroliruhensis edited by Use- 
ner'^^ we have preserved the ordo generis Cassiodoriorum 
conmique qui scriptores extiterint ex eorum progenie vel 
qui eruditi, and from it we learn the following : Cassio- 
dorus Senator vir eruditissimus et mid f is dignitatibus 
pollens iuvenis adeo dum patris Cassiodori patricii et prae- 
fecti praetorii consiliarius fieret et laudes Theodorichi 
regis Gothorum facundissiine recitasset, ah eo quaestor 
est f actus, patricius et consul ordinarius, postmodum de- 
hinc magister officiorum et praefuissct fonmdas dictionimi, 
quas in XII libris ordinavit, et variarum titulum siiperpo- 
suit, scripsit praecipiente Theodoricho rege historiam 
Gothicam originem et loca mores in {moresque XII is 
Usener's emendation) libris annuntians. Usener be- 

""Var. II, I. 

" Var. 12. 20. 

"See Getica XXX 156 and note. 

'''' Ancedoton Holderi; for full title see p. 23, note 72. 



INTRODUCTION 25 

lieved that the book from which these excerpts are made 
had been written by Cassiodorus in 522,'^^ and that there- 
fore the History of the Goths must have been pubhshed 
before that date. But Mommsen points out that this 
very passage mentions his praefectura praetorii, which he 
obtained in 534, and the pubHcation of the Variae, which 
is to be dated about 538. Furthermore, in the very be- 
ginning Cassiodorus is called monachiis servus dei. So 
this fragment is evidently from a book published after 
Cassiodorus became a monk, or else (as is possibly the 
case) it has been added to by others. But it is unrea- 
sonable to say that the part relating to the Variae is an 
interpolation and then to make use of this fragment as 
evidence to define the date of the appearance of the 
Gothic History. It seems entirely probable that the his- 
tory was begun at Theodoric's suggestion, and all indica- 
tions point toward its publication between 526, the year 
of Theodoric's death, and 533, when it is mentioned in 
the letter cited above. '^^ Mommsen calls attention to the 
fact that Cassiodorus (who was not sparing of self- 
praise) mentions this work only in the last years of his 
office. Furthennore the statement, apparently taken from 
the history itself, that Athalaric, the successor of Theo- 
doric, is reigning as the seventeenth in the succession, 
makes it clear that Cassiodorus could not have finished his 
Gothic History in Theodoric's lifetime. 

The title of the Gothic History of Cassiodorus was in 
all likelihood the same as that given by Jordanes to his 
abridgment, De origine actibusqiie Getariimf^ it was di- 
vided into twelve books, like most of the other works of 

" Mainly because it gives the lives of Symmachus and Boethius 
without making any mention of their trial and death. 

"Page 15. 

^ See the passage from the Variae quoted on page 24 with its 
mention of originem Gothicam, and the preface to the Getica i. 
When Cassiodorus speaks of the work as historiam he is referring 
to its content rather than its title. 



26 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Cassiodorus, and starting from the beginnings of the 
Gothic race carried on the account to his own day, per 
gencrationcs regesque, as Jordanes states in his own 
preface. Aside from making an epitome, the author of 
the Getica claims that he has added to the work : ad quos 
et ex nonmiUis historiis Grecis ac Latinis addedi conven- 
ientia initiiim fineuique et phira in medio mea dictione per- 
miscens. As regards the latter part of the book this 
statement must, of course, be true, for Cassiodorus closed 
his account with the year 526. But Mommsen is loath to 
give any further credit for originality. He wholly dis- 
credits the statement that Jordanes has himself added 
conrenientia from various Greek and Latin authors, as- 
signing rather to Cassiodorus all that comes from Priscus, 
both Dios, Strabo and Ptolemaeus, and ultimately refer- 
ring even this back to Ablabius and Ammianus ]*klarcel- 
linus. He concedes to Jordanes as a possible personal 
contribution at the beginning of the work quotations from 
Orosius at first hand (regarding this author as an author- 
ity whom Cassiodorus did not hold in especially high 
regard), ^^ and even goes so far as to admit that perhaps 
all the passages from Orosius throughout the Getica are 
quoted by Jordanes and make up the pliira in- medio.^^ 
jMommsen expresses small confidence in the truth of any 
of the author's claims, however, remarking that Jordanes 
was not ashamed to appropriate for his Getica an intro- 
duction from Rufinus and to pretend to give a quotation 
from lamblichus at the beginning of the Roniana, that 
he might adorn his book by that distinguished name. 

" In support of this he quotes from Inst. div. lift. 17 : Orosius 
quoque Christianoriim toiiporum paganornmque collator praesto 
vobis est, si eum volueritis legere. 

" But Mommsen is in error, as Erhardt first pointed out. when he 
says that Orosius is the only author referred to in the Getica 
with the addition of the number of the book ; references to books 
are found also in III 16 (Ptolomaeus) and XV 83 (Symmachus). 



INTRODUCTION 27 

Of course what Jordanes says of himself and his own 
people^^ cannot be referred back to Cassiodorus, nor can 
so sharp a denunciation of Arianism^^ have been found 
in the larger work, for Theodoric's magister officiorum 
though orthodox himself was mindful of the Arian con- 
victions of his king. In general, to discover what pas- 
sages are the actual work of Jordanes one must start from 
the Roinana, and after observing what authorities are 
there employed note whether in the Getica the cpiotations 
from these same writers are also made by Jordanes him- 
self. ^^ Schirren,^^ in his careful investigation, found in 
many passages an ornate style (whether peculiar to Cas- 
siodorus or to his age) which is very different from the 
meagreness of Jordanes as he reveals himself in the 
Roniana and in those sections of the Getica which treat of 
events later than 526. 

According to Mommsen's theory, Jordanes was a 
Moeso-Goth and a subject of the Eastern Empire 
(whereas Cassiodorus was a Gotho-Roman attached to 
Theodoric's court), and in his epitome the account of the 
Foederatio of Gothic mercenaries and the history of the 
provinces on the Danube has taken the place held in the 
work of Cassiodorus by the account of the kingdom of 
Theodoric the Great ; in short, he held that as Cassiodorus 
made the Gothic History Roman, so Jordanes made it 
Moesian. 

It will be noted, however, that Mommsen himself 



" L-LI. 

"XXV 131-132; XXVI 138. 

8S 



So Mommsen points out that the death of Valens is described 
in the Romana 314 in the words of Victor's epitome, whereas in 
the Getica he has fused with this the account taken from Am- 
mianus Marcelhnus which he found in Cassiodorus. 

^ Dc ratione quae inter lordanem ct Cassiodorium intercedat 
commentatio, Dorpat 1858. See Gutschmid's review of this, Kleine 
Schriften 5, 293-336. 



28 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

admits'^' that these very Moeso-Thracian references to 
which he calls so much attention appeared also in Cassio- 
dorus, and, as Schirren first observed, there is need of a 
more convincing proof than Mommsen has given to 
establish the fact that in Cassiodorus the Gotho-Moesian 
history stood in a noticeably different proportion to the 
Gotho-Italian than is the case in Jordanes. For after all, 
the Gotho-Italian history begins with Theodoric, and 
what precedes must necessarily have occupied a consider- 
able space in Cassiodorus as it does in the abridgment of 
his work.^^ Mommsen is unfair in his charges of pla- 
giarism, for in his borrowed preface Jordanes indicates, 
in some measure at least, his indebtedness to Rufinus by 
the words ut quidam ait; moreover the author of the 
Getica should be judged by the standards of his own age, 
i:i which such customary open incorporation of another's 
writings was not viewed as plagiarism. The accusation 
that Jordanes has at the beginning of his Romana used the 
name of lamblichus to add lustre to his own work, in 
pretending to quote from him while in reality putting for- 
ward his own ideas, is likewise too severe a criticism. 
Friedrich^^ makes clear that Jordanes is accrediting lam- 
blichus merely with the phrase arinis et Icgibus exer- 
centes, which may well have been circulated under his 
name, as it is quite in accord with a passage from his 
work. 

Erhardt,^" while agreeing in the main with Mommsen's 
views on the literary sources and pointing out that these 
conclusions are strengthened by a comparison of the 
Romana with the Getica, inasmuch as the former work 
contains few citations because Florus^*^'' seldom refers to 



""Introduction XIII. 

^ See also the introduction to this book, p. 15. 



90 



Pp. 379-442. 

Gott. gel. Anz. 1886, p. 669. 

' Jordanes follows Florus in the Romana. 



INTRODUCTION 29 

his authorities, while the latter bristles with them since 
Cassiodorus loves to make a show of learned quotations, 
would still not go so far as to say that Jordanes added 
nothing of his own. He thinks that the quotations from 
Symmachus regarding Maximin and perhaps some of the 
geographical digressions have been added by Jordanes 
to the account as found in Cassiodorus. 

Claudius Ptolemaeus. The geographer of Alexan- 
dria, orbis terrae discriptor egregins, a contemporary of 
Marcus Aurelius, is quoted on Scandza in III 16-19. 

Dexippus. This author, who wrote in Greek in the 
period before Diocletian, is cited^^ in regard to the march 
of the Vandals from the ocean to the Roman frontier. 
Moreover the passage about the Heruli,^- which is 
credited to Ablabius, comes from Dexippus. Mommsen 
believed that in both instances Dexippus was quoted 
through Ablabius. ^^ 

Die. In his description of Britain, Jordanes once 
cites^^" and elsewhere makes use of Dio . . . celeherri- 
mus scriptor annalium, and later refers to him as an au- 
thority on Ravenna^^ and on the siege of Odessus.^^ He 
also praises him^^ as : Dio storicus et antiquitatwn dili- 
gentissirnus inquisitor, qui operi suo Getica tittdum dedit, 
and again^''' as Dio, qui historias (of the Goths) an- 
nalesque Greco stilo composuit. But both Cassiodorus 
and Suidas®^ have erred in assigning to Dio Cassius the 

"XXII 113. 

■"XXIII 117. 

'* See above, p. 20. 

»"'II 14. 

»*XXIX 151. 

" X 6s. 

"IX s8. 

''V 40. 

'' Aiwc 6 Kd(7(7toj • ■ ■ eypafe ^VufiaiKTjv . , . UepffiKa, TeriKk MSia. 



30 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

work Oil the Getae, contrary to the testimony of Philos- 
tratns."*^ It is Dio Chrysostom (b. 40 A.D.) who wrote 

the TcTLKa. 

Fabius. It seems impossible to identify this author, 
from whom part of the description of Ravenna^^" is 
taken. Mommsen's view is that Jordanes may have writ- 
ten Fabius where Cassiodorus had named Ablabius. 

Josephus. The historian of the Jewish War (b. 37 
A.D.), annaliuui relator verissinius, as he is called in 
the Getica, is referred to in IV 29. Cassiodorus^*^^ re- 
garded him as paene secundus Livins. 

Livy. As Sybel pointed out,^*^^ the apparent quo- 
tation from Livy in II 10 rests in reality upon a passage 
in the Agricola of Tacitus where Livy's name is 
mentioned. 

Lucan. Lucan (39-65 A.D.) plus storico quam poeta, 
as Jordanes says, accepting the judgment of former 
critics, is cited once, in V 43. 

Pompeius Trogus. This contemporary of Livy is 
now known chiefly through the epitome of his Historiae 
Philippicae by Justinus. According to Gutschmid^*^^ 
Jordanes or his authority Cassiodorus used, not the epi- 
tome, but the original work of Trogus. He is cited in 
VI 48 and X 61 and used also in VII 50 and in VIII 
(see commentary). 

Pomponius Mela. Pomponius Mela, of Tingentera 
in Spain, wrote under Caligula or Claudius three books 

^''Vit. soph. I, 7 p. 487. 
'""XXIX 151. 
^"''Inst. div. litt. 17. 
^"^ De fontibus libri lordanis, p. 13. 

^'^Jahn's Jahrbiicher fiir classische Philologie, suppl. 1856/7 pp. 
193-202. 



INTRODUCTION 3I 

De Chorographia, the oldest extant Latin treatise on 
geography. He is cited in III i6 and is used also 
with no mention of his name throughout the whole of 
II and in V 44-45, XII 75. Manitius (Neues Archiv 
1888, p. 213) calls attention to the verbal resemblance 
between V 37 and Mela 3, 34. 

Priscus. In the year 448 Priscus, a Thracian from 
the town of Panium, accompanied Maximin, the general 
of Theodosius II, on his celebrated embassy to Attila, 
and to his account of this trip we owe our detailed knowl- 
edge of the great Hun.^°^ Priscus is cited in XXIV 123^ 
XXXIV 178, XXXV 183, XLII 222, XLIX 254-255, 
and Mommsen argues from the agreement of fragments 
of Priscus elsewhere preserved with the account of Jor- 
danes that the following passages also come from his 
work: XXIV 126, XXXVI 184, XLII 223, XLIII 225, 
and probably III 21. He would also refer to the same 
source what Jordanes says of the sons of Attila (L 266, 
LIII 272, and compare LII 268), remarking that in the 
Getica all the passages derived from Priscus deal with 
Attila, and that conversely there is no account of Attila 
which does not come from Priscus. Among the excerpts 
from this author, three passages appear to have been 
added to from other sources : 

(i) In XL 209, where credit for the victory at the 
Catalaunian Plains is wrongfully given to the Goths (as 
also in the chronicle of Cassiodorus). 

(2) In XLII 223, where the account of Pope Leo's 
embassy to Attila is increased by material from Prosper's 
chronicle. 

(3) In XXXV 181, concerning the murder of Bleda, 
where the sententious statement at the close, librante 
iustitia detestabili remedio crescens deformes exitus suae 

He wrote in Greek a iffropiav fiv^avriaKrjv Kal Tck /caret rbv ' kTT-rfKav, 

in eight books. 



32' JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

cnidclitatis invenit, is not in accord with the simple and 
dignified manner of Priscus. 

Mommsen calls particular attention to the difference in 
style between the general clumsiness and difficulty of the 
Getica and the smoothness and charm of those passages 
which are based upon Priscus. ^^^ In these are found 
accurate descriptions of the distinguishing traits of 
various peoples/*'*' a life-like and truthful portrayal of 
men,^*'' a keen and careful analysis of the causes and 
meanings of various events/^^ and the use of apt figures 
of speech and comparisons.^*'^ Mommsen believed that 
Jordanes was impressed by the beauty of the narrative of 
Priscus (evident even in the version of Cassiodorus) and 
copied out these passages rather than condensed them. 

Strabo. The geographer, Grecorum nobilis scriptor 
(b. 64 B.C.) is cited in II 12 concerning Britain, and is 
elsewhere used as an authority on the same subject. 

Symmachus. Jordanes speaks of the life of the Em- 
peror Maximin recorded by a certain Symmachus in 
qninto suae historiae lihro,'^^^ and there seems to have 
been a consul ordinariiis of that name in 485 who wrote a 
Roman history in seven books. The passages preserved 
by Jordanes correspond almost word for word with the 
life of Maximin given in the Scriptores historiae Au- 
giistae under the name of Julius Capitolinus ;. so it seems 
that Symmachus borrowed his account from that work. 

Tacitus. Cornelius annalium scriptor is cited in II 13 
and used elsewhere on the same subject, namely Britain. 

'"» See XXXVI 187, XXXIX 202, XLIX 257. 
"" L 261. 

"'XXXV 182, XXXVIII 200, XLIX 254. 

"' See the passages on the number of Attila's soldiers, XXXV 
182; the funeral pyre, XL 213; Honoria, XLII 224. 
"'XXXVIII 200; XL 212 
'"'XV 83, and see 88. 



INTRODUCTION 



33 



Manitius (Neues Archiv 1888, p. 213) sees a resemblance 
between X 62 and the Germania 36; also between 
XXXIV 176 and Annals 12, 49. 

Vergil. "The Mantuan," as Jordanes calls him, is 
quoted in I 9, V 40 and VII 50. A paraphrase of a verse 
of the Aeneid is found in XXVI 134. In XXXV 182 is 
the expression hue atqite illuc circmnferens ocitlos, remin- 
iscent of Aeneid 4, 363. To these Manitius (Neues 
Archiv 1888, p. 214) would add the following resem- 
blances between the two authors: XX 108 and Aeneid 
9, 450; XXIX 150 and Georgics i, 482; XLIX 254 and 
Aeneid 6, 520; LVI 288 and Aeneid i, 249. 

This completes the list of authorities actually named 
by Jordanes as sources. Aside from these there are 
several whom he almost certainly made use of without 
acknowledging his indebtedness. It is worth while to 
consider these also. 

Dictys. Lucius Septimius wrote in the second half 
of the fourth century what purported to be a Latin ver- 
sion of a Greek story of the Trojan War by a certain 
Dictys of Crete. Mommsen's opinion, that the story of 
Telephus in the Getica rests not on the Latin version of 
Dictys but upon the lost original, is rendered more plausi- 
ble by the discovery of part of the Greek original in 
Egypt.^^^ 

Marcellinus. Ammianus Marcellinus of Antioch 
(about 330-400) wrote at Rome a continuation of Taci- 
tus. He himself says that his work covered the period 
from Nerva to the death of Valens (that is, 96-378 A.D. ) , 

'" See Grenfell, Hunt and Goodspeed, Tebtunis Papyri vol. II 
N. 268, London 1907. Also Dares and Dictys, N. E. Griffin, Balti- 
more 1907; Ihm, Der Griechische und Lateinische Dictys, Hermes 
1909, 1-22; The Greek Dictys, Griffin, American Journal of Phil- 
ology 29. 329. 



34 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

but only books XIV-XXXI are extant, beginning with the 
last years of Constantins II (353-378). Jordanes records 
some events of Roman history of this period in XXIV 
126, 127, 128. In XXV and XXVI he also uses Ammia- 
nus; not much, to be sure, for after the victories of 
Claudius and Aurelian almost to the time of Valens the 
Goths per longa saeciila silnerunt immobilcs/'^^ and ac- 
cordingly Jordanes passes directly from Constantine to 
Valens. Schirren conjectured that such passages as XVI 
89-93, XVIII loi, XX 109, and XXI 11 1, 112, pertain- 
ing to the emperors from Philip to Constantine I are 
taken from the lost parts of the work of Ammianus.^^^ 
The story of the war between the Goths and the 
Gepidae,^^^ and the account given of Geberich and of 
Hermanaric^^^ does not seem to be taken from Am- 
mianus, for he says^^® that Hermanaric committed sui- 
cide through fear of the Huns, while Jordanes tells of 
his murder by the brothers Sarus and Ammius. Mommsen 
believed that the passages in the Getica based on extant 
portions of Ammianus Marcellinus reveal how Jordanes 
(or Cassiodorus) perverts the records in his zeal for the 
Goths, pointing out as a notable instance of this the ac- 
count of Fritigern's escape in XXVI 136-137 (see 
commentary), 

A Continuator of Marcellinus. In Mommsen's opin- 
ion some continuator has been made use of between the 
excerpts from Ammianus, which end in XXVI 138, and 
those from Priscus, which begin in XXXIV I78.^^''' 

^"Ammianus Marcellinus 31, 5, 17. 
"' See also notes on XVI 93, XVIII loi, 103, XX 108. 
"'XVII. 

"°XXII, XXIII and XXIV. 
"•In3i, 3, 2. 

"^Koepke (Anfange d. Konigthums bei den Gothen p. 81) sug- 
gests Eunapius. 



INTRODUCTION 35 

Marcellinus Comes. As this author's work^^^ was 
not pubhshed until 534, Cassiodorus, writing between 
526 and 533, could not have used it, but Jordanes evi- 
dently availed himself of this chronicle, probably in fuller 
form than the version we now possess, in writing the 
latter part of both his works. ^^^ 

Mommsen believed that there are traces of consularia 
also in those part of the Getica which can be referred 
with reasonable assurance to Cassiodorus himself, ^-*^ and 
that this chronicle began either from the end of Prosper 
or perhaps from the end of Hieronymus. Cassiodorus 
could not make use of his own annals (published in 519) 
on account of their brevity, but we find that such passages 
as he there changed (in abbreviating Prosper) because of 
his Gothic tendencies are similarly treated in the Getica, 
so that the germs of the greater work may be said to 
appear in the smaller.^-^ In narrating the events of 
Theodoric's time, Cassiodorus availed himself of the so- 
called Ravenna Annals. 

Prosper. Prosper of Aquitaine (b. about 400 A.D.) 
wrote a continuation of the chronicle of Hieronymus, 
covering the years 379-455. Cassiodorus used Prosper 
in writing his chronicle of the world (to the year 519), 
and also commended the work to his monks.^-^ In 

^"A chronicle by Count Marcellinus, an Illyrian, exclusively on 
events in the eastern empire. It falls into three parts: (i) the 
chronicle proper, 379-518; (2) a continuation to 534; (3) a further 
continuation to 548. 

"* See what is said in Rotnana 388 of the annales consulumque 
seriem. 

^In XLV and XLVI (on the years 455-477), and perhaps also 
in XXXII 165-166 (on the years 411-427). 

""See the commentary on: XVIII 103 (Decius) ; XXVIII 144 
(Athanaric) ; XXX 154 (Pollentia) ; XXX 156 (Capture of Rome) ; 
XXXII 166 ("Flight" of the Vandals into Spain) ; XL 209 (Battle 
of the Catalaunian Plains) ; XLII 221 (Siege of Aquileia). 

^Inst. div. litt. 17. 



36 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

XXXIV 177 the story of Litorius is taken over from 
Prosper, consuls and all/^^ and in XLII 223 the account 
of Pope Leo's embassy to Attila is from the same source. 
These passages must go back to Cassiodorus, for in the 
Rouiana there is no trace of Prosper. 

Rufinus. Rufinus of Aquileia (about 345-410) de- 
voted himself almost exclusively to the production of 
Latin versions of the works of the Greek patristic writers, 
and it is from one of these that Jordanes borrowed his 
preface to the Getica}^'^ 

Solinus, C. lulius Solinus, the grammarian, who lived 
probably in the time before Diocletian, composed a 
Collectanea rennn inemorabiliinn, based mainly on 
Pliny's Natural History, and containing a selection of 
the curiosities therein mentioned, arranged from a geo- 
graphical point of view. While Cassiodorus probably did 
not make use of this writer directly, yet certain passages 
in the Getica (V 46, VII 53-55) so closely resemble the 
Collectanea as to suggest the inference that both writers 
drew from a common source. 

A Geographical Map. Finally, it is Mommsen's belief 
that such geographical passages as the descriptions of 
Scythia,^-^ Pannonia,^-^ the Danube,^^" Scandza.^^^ the 
mouths of the Vistula, and the river Vagus, ^^^ in which 
places are portrayed as they would appear on a map, are 
based upon an actual map. Even the list of the islands 
of the Indian Ocean^^'^ is given in exactly the same order 

"* See commentary on Litorius, XXXIV 177. 
^ See commentary on the preface to the Getica. 



^V 30. 
^L 264. 
"'XII 75. 
^III 16. 
""Ill 17. 
^^I 6. 



INTRODUCTION 37 

as in the work of Julius Honorius who wrote from a map. 
Mommsen would ascribe to a like source five passages in 
which countries or tribes are located with reference to 
the points of the compass. ^^^ Now the provinces there 
mentioned are of the time before Diocletian, and the 
descriptions do not hold good for the time of Cassio- 
dorus or Jordanes, but for about the second century, 
whereas the other names of localities and races found in 
the Getica accord properly with fifth century conditions. 
It would be difficult, however, to decide whether Cas- 
siodorus actually made use of a map of the world as it 
was in the second century or merely of an epitome from 
such a map, like the extant books of Julius Honorius^^^ 
and the Geographer of Ravenna.^^^ As Cassiodorus^^* 
speaks highly of this very Cosniographia of Honorius, it 
not unlikely that he used it, perhaps in fuller form than 
it is now known. 

To these Manitius (Neues Archiv 1888, pp. 213-214) 
would add the following as possible sources : Sallust, 
Jugurtha 60, i and 7 for XVII 99 and 100; Caesar, B. G. 
8, 27 for XXXI 161 ; Martianus Capella 6, 628 for 
XLIV 230. But there is no evidence that Jordanes read 
or used these writers. 

"^Galicia XLIV 230, Pannonia L 264, the Vandals XXII 114, 
Dacia XII 74, Scythia V 31 (compare 33). 

'^ This work, although dating from the 5th century, contains the 
names taken from a map constructed about 360 A.D. 

"'End of the 7th century. 

^^ Inst. div. litt. 25. 



3. CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE 
(Following Gutschmid) 

Jordanes says (LX 313), probably following the fig- 
ures of Cassiodorus and adding in on his own account 
the fourteen years from the death of Theodoric in 526 
to the capture of Vitiges in 540, that the Kingdom of the 
Goths endured 2030 years. This statement assigns the 
beginning of the Gothic Kingdom to the year 1490 B.C. 
Gutschmid (in Mommsen's preface, XX-XXI) sought 
to explain the chronology as follows : 

Five generations of the first kings of the 
Goths, from Berig to Filimer son of 
Gadaric (IV 25, XXIV 121), about 
167 years. B.C. 1490^-1324 

Tanausis,^ shortly before the Amazons 

(VI 47, VII 49), about 33 years. 1323-1290 

Three generations of Amazons (Lam- 
peto and Marpesia, Menalippe and Hip- 
polyte, Penthesilea) , about 100 years 
VII 52). 1289-1190 

From the Trojan War, or the death of 
Penthesilea (VIII 57), or the death of 

^ This year rests on the testimony of Herodotus, 4, 7 : erea vcpiai (the 
Scythians) iiretre yeySvaffi to. fftj/j-iravTa 'Kiyovai. elvai. dirb rod wpwrov ^a<Ti\ios 
Tapyirdov is rrjv Aapelov did^affiv rrjv iwl ff<pia.s xiXfwi' ou ir\iw dXXd roaavra. 
Hieronymus assigns the battle of Marathon to the year of Abraham 
1525 = B.C. 492. 

^Tanausis, a contemporary of Vesosis or Sesostris, reigned ac- 
cording to Eusebius from 1374-1319 B.C. Cassiodorus has assigned 
him a more reasonable date. 

38 



INTRODUCTION 39 

Eurypylus (IX 60), to the reign of Cy- 
rus,^ almost 630 years (X 61), actually 
631. 1190-559 

From Cyrus to Sulla S58-91 

Buruista, king in Sulla's time (XI 6y) 90-57 

King Comosicus (XI 73) 56-23 

The forty-year reign of Coryllus (XII 73) 

the time of Tiberius (XI 68) ? B.C. 22-18 A.D. 

Interval of one generation (XIII 76) 19-50 

Amali Balthae 

Gapt^ King Dorpaneus time of 

Domitian (XIII 76) 51-83 

Hulmul 84-117 

Augis 1 18-150 

Amal 1 51-183 

Hisarnis 184-217 

Ostrogotha Nidada 218-250 

Hunuil Ovida (King Cniva? XVIII loi) 251-283 

Athal Hilderith 284-317 

Achiulf Geberich^ (XXII 113) 318-350 

* This is the year Jordanes meant, although he has indicated the 
last year of his reign. 

* Accordingly both King Dorpaneus and the first of the Amali, 
whom Jordanes mentions together (XIII 78), lived in the reign 
of Domitian. 

" Constantine, who established the Vandals in Pannonia (XXII 
115) died in 337; if the Vandals lived there for 70 years (so 
Gutschmid would emend, in place of LX) they went off into Gaul 
in 406. Thus the victory of Geberich over the Vandals occurred 
in 336, approximately. 



40 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Hermanaric 35i~376 

Vinitharius 

Hunimund 

Thorismud ' ...404? 

40-year interregnum (XLVIII 251) 405?-444? 

Valamir 445?-. . . 

Thiudimer ....... 

Theodoric 475-526 

Athalaric 526-534 

Theodahad 534~536 

Vitiges 536-540 

Years of the reign of the Goths amount to 
1490 + 540 = 2030 (LX 313). 



KINGS OF THE VISIGOTHS 



Alaric I 

Athavulf 

Segeric 

Valia 

Theodorid I 

Thorismud 

Theodorid II 

Eurich 
Friderich 
Retemer 
Himnerith 

Alaric II 

Amalaric 

Thiudis 

Thiudigisclus 

Agil 

Athanagild 



395-410 
410-415 

415 
415-419 

419-451 

451-453 
453-466 

466-485 



Brothers of the three preceding 



485-507 
507-531 
531-548 

548-549 
549-554 
554-567 



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I 



5. BIBLIOGRAPHY^ 

1. Manuscript Sources of the Text. 

For a detailed account of the manuscript sources of the 
text, see Mommsen's discussion in the Monumenta 
Germanme Historica V i, pp. XLIV-LXX. For a later 
discussion see the article lordanes in a forthcoming 
volume of the Pauly-Wissowa Real Encyclopddie. 

2. Editions.- 

Holder, A. : lordanis, De origine actibusque Getarum. 
Freiburg I.B. und Tiibingen 1882. Without critical 
apparatus or commentary, and fully superseded by 
Mommsen's edition. 

Mommsen, Th. : lordanis Romana et Getica. Monu- 
menta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi 
V I, Berlin 1882. The authoritative edition. 

3. Translations. 

Jordan, J. : Jordanes Leben und Schriften nebst Probe 
einer deutschen Uebersetzung seiner Geschichte. Progr. 
Ansbach 1843. Contains a translation of chapters 1-4 
and 24-27, made as samples. 

Martens, W. : Jordanes Gothengeschichte nebst Aus- 
ziigen aus seiner Romischen Geschichte. Leipzig 1883. 
(Geschichtschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit Vol. 5.) 
The translation is based on Mommsen's text, but con- 
tains many inaccuracies and mistakes. 

Savagner, M. A. : Jornandes de la succession des 
royaumes et des temps, et de I'origine et des actes des 
Goths. Paris 1842. A faithful rendering of an older 
text, in the main that of Muratori (1723). 

*This bibliography does not give references to such general 
works as the histories of literature by Ebert, Manitius and Teuffel, 
Wattenbach's Geschichtsquellen, or similar general source books. 

' Mommsen records nineteen editions that preceded his own, 
all now of little value. 

42 



INTRODUCTION 43 

4. Special Monographs, Journal Articles, and Reviews. 
Arndt, W. : Review of Mommsen, in Literarisches Cen- 

tralblatt 1883 N. 31 pp. 1060-1063. 
Arndt, W. : Review of Holder, in Literarisches Central- 

blatt 1883 N. 36 p. 1263. 
Bachmann, A : Zu lordanis, in Neues Archiv der Gesell- 

schaft fiir altere deutsche Geschichtskunde 1898 (23) 

pp. 175-176. 
Bergmiiller, L. : Einige Bemerkungen zur Latinitat des 

Jordanes. Progr. Augsburg 1903. 
Cipolla, C. : Considerazioni sulle "Getica" di Jordanes 

e sulle loro relazioni colla Historia Getarum di Cassio- 

dorio Senatore. Torino 1892. (Mem. della R. Accad, 

di Torino sen II torn. 43, 116.) 
Erhardt, L. : Review of Mommsen, Holder and Martens, 

in Historische Zeitschrift 1886 (56, or Neue Folge 

20) N. 6 pp. 513-519- 
Erhardt, L. : Review of Mommsen, in Gottingische ge- 

lehrte Anzeigen 1886 N. 17 pp. 669-708. 
Frick, C. : Review of Cipolla, in Berliner philologische 

Wochenschrift 1894 N. 44 pp. 1387-1392. 
Friedrich, J. : Ueber die kontroversen Fragen im Leben 

des Gotischen Geschichtschreibers Jordanes, in Sit- 

zungsberichte der philosophisch-philologischen und der 

historischen Klasse der K.B. Akademie der Wissen- 

schaften zu Miinchen 1907 pp. 379-442. 
Grienberger, Th. v. : Die Vorfahren des Jordanes, in 

Germania 1889 pp. 406-409. 
Grimm, Jac. : Ueber lornandes und die Geten, Kleinere 

Schriften III pp. 171-235. Berlin 1866. 
Gutschmid, A. v. : Review of Schirren, in Jahn's Jahr- 

biicher fur classische Philologie 1862 pp. 1 24-151. 

(Kleine Schriften V pp. 288-336, Leipzig 1894.) 
Jordan, J. : see above, under Translations. 
Kopke, R. : Die Anfange des Konigthums bei den 

Gothen pp. 44-77. Berlin 1859. 



44 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Manitius, M. : Zii Ekkeharcl uiid Jordanes, in Neues 

Archiv der Gesellschaft fiir altere deutsche Geschichts- 

kunde 1888 (13) pp. 213-214. 
Manitins, M. : Geschichtliches aus mittelalterlichen Bib- 

liothekskatalogen : lordanis, in Neues Archiv 1907 

(32) pp. 651-652. 
Manitius, M. : Review of Bergmiiller, in Wochenschrift 

fiir Klassische Philologie 1903 N. 44 pp. 1204-1207. 
Manitius, M. : Review of Bergmiiller, in Blatter fiir das 

Gymnasial-Schulwesen herausgegeben vom bayer. 

Gymnasialschulwesen 1904 I/II pp. 94-95. 
Martens, W. : Review of Mommsen and Holder, in Lit- 

eraturblatt fiir germanische und romanische Philologie 

1883 N. 3 pp. 85-87. 
Schirren, C. : de ratione quae inter lordanem et Cassio- 

dorium intercedat commentatio. Dorpat 1858. 
Schirren, C. : Review of Mommsen and Holder, in 

Deutsche Literaturzeitung 1882 N. 40 pp. 1420- 1424. 
Simson, B. v. : Zu Jordanis, in Neues Archiv 1897 i^^) 

pp. 741-747- 
Sybel, H. v. : de fontibus libri lordanis De origine 

actuque Getarum. Berlin 1838. 
Sybel, H. v. : Review of Kopke and Schirren, in His- 

torische Zeitschrift 1859 N. 2 pp. 5 11 -5 16. 
Usener, H. : Anecdoton Holderi, Festschrift zur Philo- 

logenversammlung in Wiesbaden 1877. 
Weise, O. : Review of Bergmiiller, in Neue Philologische 

Rundschau 1904 N. 23 pp. 539-540. 
Werner, F. : Die Latinitat der Getica des Jordanis. 

Halle 1908. 
Wofflin E. : Zur Laitinitat des Jordanes, in Archiv fiir 

Lateinische Lexicographic und Grammatik XI pp. 361- 

368. Leipzig 1900. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 
OF JORDANES 



6. LITERARY ANALYSIS OF THE GETICA 

[The Arabic numbers, printed in the Literary Analysis below and 
in the margin of the English version, correspond to the Arabic 
numbers which mark the sections in Mommsen's text.] 

Preface 1-3 

I Geographical Introduction 4-24 

Ocean 4-5 

The Eastern Islands 6 

The Western Islands 7-24 

Lesser Islands 7-8 

Britain 10-15 

Scandza 9, 16-24 

II The United Goths 25-130 

1. Migration of the Goths under their first king, 
Berig, from Scandza to Gothiscandza and 
thence to the land of the Ulmerugi 25-26 
Migration to Scythia under Filimer 27-29 

[Description of Scythia 30-37] 
The three successive abodes of the Goths 38-42 
In Scythia near Lake Maeotis 
In Moesia, Thrace and Dacia 
In Scythia again, above the Sea of Pontus. 
[Their archery and heroes 43] 

2. The Goths in Scythia, near Lake Maeotis 44-57 

Exploits of King Tanausis 44-48 

[Description of the Don and Dnieper 

45-46] 
The Scythian Amazons in Asia Minor 49-57 
[Description of the Caucasus 52-55] 

47 



48 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

3. The Goths in Moesia, Thrace and Dacia 57-81 

Teleftis and Eurypyhis : the Trojan War 

58-60 

Queen Tomyris defeats Cyrus 61-62 

King Antyrus defeats Darius 63-64 

Queen Gudila's daughter becomes the wife 

of PhiHp of Macedon 65 

Sitalces conquers Perdiccas 66 

King Buruista. The wise rule of Dicineus, 

a contemporary of Sulla 67, 69-72 

The Goths in the time of Caesar, Augustus 

and Tiberius 68 

Kings Comosicus and Coryllus 73 

[Description of Dacia and the Danube 

74-75] 
King Dorpaneus wars with Domitian 76-78 

[Genealogy of the Amali 78-81] 

4. The Goths again in Scythia — beyond the Sea 

of Pontus 82-130 

Maximin, the Goth, a Roman Emperor 

83-88 

King Ostrogotha wars with Philip 89-92 
[Description of Marcianople 93] 

The Gepidae and their defeat at the hands of 

Ostrogotha 94-100 

King Cniva at war with Decius 101-103 

The Goths in the time of Gallus, Volusianus 

and Aemilianus 104-106. 

The Goths plunder Asia Minor in the reign 

of Gallienus 107-109 

[Descriptive references to Chalcedon, 
Ilium and Anchiali 107-109] 

Deeds of the Goths in the times of Diocle- 
tian and his colleagues no 

The Goths under Ariaric and Aoric in the 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 49 

time of Constantine I. King Geberich con- 
quers the Vandals. Ill -II 5 
King Hermanaric conquers the Heruh, Ve- 
nethi and Aesti ii 6-120 

[Origin and history of the Huns 121-128] 
Battle of Hermanaric with the Huns. His 
death. The Goths separate into Visigoths 
and Ostrogoths. 129-130. 

HI The Divided Goths 131-314 

I. The Visigoths 131-245 

Fritigern with the Visigoths enters Thrace 

and the two Moesias 131-137 

They defeat and slay the Emperor Valens 

138 

King Athanaric makes peace with Gratian 

and Theodosius I. Dies at Constantinople 

139-144 

The Visigoths, serving under Theodosius, 

conquer the usurper Eugenius 145 

Deeds of Alaric I in the time of Arcadius 

and Honorius. His death 146-158 
[Description of Ravenna 1 48-151] 

Deeds and death of King Athavulf 159-163 

King Segeric 163 

Deeds of King Valia 164-175 

[Digression: The Kingdom of the Van- 
dals 166-173] 

[Digression: Migration of the Amali to 
the Visigoths 174-175] 

First breach between King Theodorid I and 

the Romans 176-177 

[Character of Attila the Hun 178-183] 

League of the Visigoths and Romans against 

Attila 1 84-1 9 1 



50 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. Death of 
Theodorid I 192-217 

Deeds and death of Thorismud. Continua- 
tion of Attila's career 218-228 
King Theodorid II 229-234 
King Enrich 235-244 

The Western Empire from the death of Va- 
lentinian III to Romulus Augustulus, the 
last Western Emperor 235-241 
The rule of Odoacer 242-243 
Alaric II, last King of the Visigoths 245 

2. The Ostrogoths 246-314 

King Vinitharius conquers the Antes and is 
conquered by the Huns 246-249 
King Hunimund 250 
King Thorismud 250 
Interregnum of forty years 251 
King Valamir 252-276 

Death of Attila and dissolution of the King- 
dom of the Huns 254-263 
Homes of the Goths along the Lower Dan- 
ube 264-266 

The Gothic origin of the author, Jordanes 
266 

The Lesser Goths 267 
The Ostrogoths in Pannonia 268-276 
King Thiudimer. Seizure of Macedonia 
277-288 

King Theodoric the Great, and the King- 
dom of the Ostrogoths in Italy 289-304 
King Athalaric. Amalasuentha 305-306 
The Ostrogoths overcome by the Emperor 
Justinian 307-314 

IV Conclusion 315-316 



THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Preface 

Though it had been my wish to ghde in my little boat 
by the edge of the peaceful shore and, as a certain writer 
says, to catch little fishes from the pools of the ancients, 
you, brother Castalius, bid me set my sails toward the 
deep. You urge me to leave the little work I have in 
hand, that is, the abbreviation of the Chronicles, and to 
condense in my own style in this small book the twelve 
volumes of Senator on the origin and deeds of the 
Getae from olden time to the present day, descending 
through the generations of the kings. Truly a hard com- 
mand, and imposed by one who seems unwilling to realize 
the burden of the task. Nor do you note this, that my 
utterance is too slight to fill so magnificent a trumpet of 
speech as his. But worse than every other burden is the 
fact that I have no access to his books that I may follow 
his thought. Still — and let me lie not — I have in times 
past read the books a second time by his steward's loan for 
a three days' reading. The words I recall not, but the 
sense and the deeds related I think I retain entire. To 
this I have added fitting matters from some Greek and 
Latin histories. I have also put in an introduction and 
a conclusion, and have inserted many things of my own 
authorship. Wherefore reproach me not, but receive and 
read with gladness what you have asked me to write. If 
aught be insufficiently spoken and you remember it, do 
you as a neighbor to our race add to it, praying for me, 
dearest brother. The Lord be with you. Amen. 

51 



OCEA,N 
AND ITS 



52 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Geographical Introduction 

I Our ancestors, as Orosius relates, were of opinion 4 
that the circle of the whole world was surrounded 
by the girdle of Ocean on three sides. Its three parts 
they called Asia, Europe and Africa. Concerning this 
threefold division of the earth's extent there are almost 
Lesser Isles innumerable writers, who not only explain the situations 
of cities and places, but also measure out the number of 
miles and paces to give more clearness. Moreover they 
locate the islands interspersed amid the waves, both the 
greater and also the lesser islands, called the Cyclades or 
Sporades, as situated in the vast flood of the Great Sea. 
But the impassable farther bounds of Ocean not only has 5 
no one attempted to describe, but no man has been al- 
lowed to reach ; for by reason of obstructing seaweed and 
the failing of the winds it is plainly inaccessible and is 
unknown to any save to Him who made it. But the 6 
nearer border of this sea, which we call the circle of the 
world, surrounds its coasts like a wreath. This has 
become clearly known to men of inquiring mind, even 
to such as desired to write about it. For not only is the 
coast itself inhabited, but certain islands off in the sea 
are habitable. Thus there are to the East in the Indian 
Ocean, Hippodes, lamnesia, Solis Perusta (which though 
not habitable, is yet of great length and breadth), besides 
Taprobane, a fair island wherein there are towns or 
estates and ten strongly fortified cities. But there is yet 7 
another, the lovely Silefantina, and Theros also. These, 
though not clearly described by any writer, are neverthe- 
less well filled with inhabitants. This same Ocean has 
in its western region certain islands known to almost 
everyone by reason of the great number of those that 
journey to and fro. And there are two not far from the 
neighborhood of the Strait of Gades, one the Blessed 
Isle and another called the Fortunate. Although some 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



53 



reckon as islands of Ocean the twin promontories of 
Galicia and Lusitania, where are still to be seen the 
Temple of Hercules on one and Scipio's Monument on 
the other, yet since they are joined to the extremity of 
the Galician country, they belong rather to the continent 

8 of Europe than to the islands of Ocean. However, it 
has other islands deeper within its own tides, which are 
called the Baleares; and yet another, Mevania, besides 
the Orcades, thirty-three in number, though not all in- 

9 habited. And at the farthest bound of its western ex- 
panse it has another island named Thule, of which the 
Mantuan bard makes mention : 



lO 



II 



"And Farthest Thule shall serve thee." 

The same mighty sea has also in its arctic region, that is, 
in the north, a great island named Scandza, from which 
my tale (by God's grace) shall take its beginning. For 
the race whose origin you ask to know burst forth like a 
swarm of bees from the midst of this island and came 
into the land of Europe. But how or in what wise we 
shall explain hereafter, if it be the Lord's will. 

n But now let me speak briefly as I can concerning 
the island of Britain, which is situated in the bosom of 
Ocean between Spain, Gaul and Germany. Although 
Livy tells us that no one in former days sailed around 
it, because of its great size, yet many writers have held 
various opinions about it. It was long unapproached by 
Roman arms, until Julius Caesar disclosed it by battles 
fought for mere glory. In the busy age which followed 
it became accessible to many through trade and by other 
means. Thus it revealed more clearly its position, which 
I shall here explain as I have found it in Greek and Latin 
authors. Most of them say it is like a triangle pointing 
between the north and west. Its widest angle faces the 
mouths of the Rhine. Then the island shrinks in breadth 
and recedes until it ends in two other angles. Its two 



Britain 



Caesar's two 

invasions 

of Britain 

B.C. 55-54 



54 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

long sides face Gaul and Germany. Its greatest breadth 
is said to be over two thousand three hundred and ten 
stadia, and its length not more than seven thousand 
one hundred and thirty-two stadia. In some parts 12 
it is moorland, in others there are wooded plains, and 
sometimes it rises into mountain peaks. The island is 
surrounded by a sluggish sea, which neither gives readily 
to the stroke of the oar nor runs high under the blasts 
of the wind. I suppose this is because other lands are 
so far removed from it as to cause no disturbance of the 
sea, which indeed is of greater width here than anywhere 
else. Moreover Strabo, a famous writer of the Greeks, 
relates that the island exhales such mists from its soil, 
soaked by the frequent inroads of Ocean, that the sun is 
covered throughout the whole of their disagreeable sort 
of day that passes as fair, and so is hidden from sight. 

Cornelius also, the author of the Annals, says that in 13 
the farthest part of Britain the night gets brighter and 
is very short. He also says that the island abounds in 
metals, is well supplied with grass and is more produc- 
tive in all those things which feed beasts rather than men. 
Moreover many large rivers flow through it, and the 
tides are borne back into them, rolling along precious 
stones and pearls. The Silures have swarthy features 
and are usually born with curly black hair, but the inhab- 
itants of Caledonia have reddish hair and large loose- 
jointed bodies. They are like the Gauls or the Spaniards, 
according as they are opposite either nation. Hence some 14 
have supposed that from these lands the island received 
its inhabitants, alluring them by its nearness. All the 
people and their kings are alike wild. Yet Dio, a most 
celebrated writer of annals, assures us of the fact that 
they have been combined under the name of Caledo- 
nians and Maeatae. They live in wattled huts, a shelter 
used in common with their flocks, and often the woods 
are their home. They paint their bodies with iron-red. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 55 

whether by way of adornment or perhaps for some other 

15 reason. They often wage war with one another, either 
because they desire power or to increase their possessions. 
They fight not only on horseback or on foot, but even 
with scythed two-horse chariots, which they commonly 
call essedae. Let it suffice to have said thus much on the 
shape of the island of Britain. 

16 III Let us now return to the site of the island of 
' Scandza, which we left above. Claudius Ptolemaeus, an 

excellent describer of the world, has made mention of it 
in the second book of his work, saying: "There is a 
great island situated in the surge of the northern Ocean, 
Scandza by name, in the shape of a juniper leaf with 
bulging sides which taper to a point at a long end." 
Pomponius Mela also makes mention of it as situated in 
the Codan Gulf of the sea, with Ocean lapping its shores. 

17 This island lies in front of the river Vistula, which rises 
in the Sarmatian mountains and flows through its triple 
mouth into the northern Ocean in sight of Scandza, sep- 
arating Germany and Scythia. The island has in its 
eastern part a vast lake in the bosom of the earth, whence 
the Vagus river springs from the bowels of the earth and 
flows surging into the Ocean. And on the west it is sur- 
rounded by an immense sea. On the north it is bounded 
by the same vast unnavigable Ocean, from which by 
means of a sort of projecting arm of land a bay is cut off 

18 and forms the German Sea. Here also there are said to 
be many small islands scattered round about. If wolves 
cross over to these islands when the sea is frozen by 
reason of the great cold, they are said to lose their sight. 
Thus the land is not only inhospitable to men but cruel 
even to wild beasts. 

19 Now in the island of Scandza, whereof I speak, there 
dwell many and divers nations, though Ptolemaeus men- 
tions the names of but seven of them. There the honey- 
making swarms of bees are nowhere to be found on 



Scandza 



56 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

account of the exceeding great cold. In the northern part 
of the island the race of the Adogit live, who are said 
to have continual light in midsummer for forty days and 
nights, and who likewise have no clear light in" the winter 
season for the same number of days and nights. By 20 
reason of this alternation of sorrow and joy they are like 
no other race in their sufferings and blessings. And why? 
Because during the longer days they see the sun returning 
to the east along the rim of the horizon, but on the shorter 
days it is not thus seen. The sun shows itself differently 
because it is passing through the southern signs, and 
whereas to us the sun is seen to rise from below, it is said 
to go around them along the edge of the earth. There 
also are other peoples. There are the Screrefennae, who 21 
do not seek grain for food but live on the flesh of wild 
beasts and birds' eggs; for there are such multitudes of 
young game in the swamps as to provide for the natural 
increase of their kind and to afford satisfaction to the 
needs of the people. But still another race dwells there, 
the Suehans, who, like the Thuringians, have splendid 
horses. Here also are those who send through innumer- 
able other tribes the sapphire colored skins to trade for 
Roman use. They are a people famed for the dark beauty 
of their furs and, though living in poverty, are most richly 
clothed. Then comes a throng of various nations, Theu- 22 
stes, Vagoth, Bergio, Hallin, Liothida. All their habita- 
tions are in one level and fertile region. Wherefore they 
are disturbed there by the attacks of other tribes. Behind 
these are the Ahelmil, Finnaithae, Fervir and Gauthigoth, 
a race of men bold and quick to fight. Then come the 
Mixi, Evagre, and Otingis. All these live like wild ani- 
mals in rocks hewn out like castles. And there are be- 2^ 
yond these the Ostrogoths, Raumarici, Aeragnaricii, and 
the most gentle Finns, milder than all the inhabitants of 
Scandza. Like them are the Vinovilith also. The Suetidi 
are of this stock and excell the rest in stature. However, 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 57 

the Dani, who trace their origin to the same stock, drove 
from their homes the Heruli, who lay claim to preemi- 
nence among all the nations of Scandza for their tallness. 

24 Furthermore there are in the same neighborhood the 
Grannii, Augandzi, Eunixi, Taetel, Rugi, Arochi and 
Ranii, over whom Roduulf was king not many years ago. 
But he despised his own kingdom and fled to the embrace 
of Theodoric, king of the Goths, finding there what he 
desired. All these nations surpassed the Germans in size 
and spirit, and fought with the cruelty of wild beasts. 

The United Goths 

25 IV Now from this island of Scandza, as from a hive 

of races or a womb of nations, the Goths are said to have 

come forth long ago under their king, Berig by name. 

As soon as they disembarked from their ships and set 

foot on the land, they straightway gave their name to the How the 

, . , ... . , , 11 1 /-- 1 • Goths came 

place. And even to-day it is said to be called Gothi- to Scythia 

26 scandza. Soon they moved from here to the abodes of 
the Ulmerugi, who then dwelt on the shores of Ocean, 
where they pitched camp, joined battle with them and 
drove them from their homes. Then they subdued their 
neighbors, the Vandals, and thus added to their victories. 
But when the number of the people increased greatly and 
Filimer, son of Gadaric, reigned as king — about the fifth 
since Berig — he decided that the army of the Goths with 

27 their families should move from that region. In search 
of suitable homes and pleasant places they came to the 
land of Scythia, called Oiuiii in that tongue. Here they 
were delighted with the great richness of the country, 
and it is said that when half the army had been brought 
over, the bridge whereby they had crossed the river fell 
in utter ruin, nor could anyone thereafter pass to or fro. 
For the place is said to be surrounded by quaking bogs 
and an encircling abyss, so that by this double obstacle 
nature has made it inaccessible. And even to-day one 



SCYTHIA 



58 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

may hear in that neighborhood the lowing of cattle and 
may find traces of men, if we are to believe the stories 
of travellers, although we must grant that they hear these 
things from afar. 

This part of the Goths, which is said to have crossed 28 
the river and entered wath Filimer into the country of 
Oium, came into possession of the desired land, and there 
they soon came upon the race of the Spali, joined battle 
with them and won the victory. Thence the victors hast- 
ened to the farthest part of Scythia, which is near the sea 
of Pontus ; for so the story is generally told in their early 
songs, in almost historic fashion. Ablabius also, a fa- 
mous chronicler of the Gothic race, confirms this in his 
most trustworthy account. Some of the ancient writers 29 
also agree with the tale. Among these we may mention 
Josephus, a most reliable relator of annals, who every- 
where follows the rule of truth and unravels from the 
beginning the origin of things; — but why he has omitted 
the beginnings of the race of the Goths, of which I have 
spoken, I do not know. He barely mentions Magog 
of that stock, and says they were Scythians by race and 
were called so by name. 

Before we enter on our history, we must describe the 
boundaries of this land, as it lies. 

V Now Scythia borders on the land of Germany as 30 
far as the source of the river Ister and the expanse of the 
Morsian Swamp. It reaches even to the rivers Tyra, 
Danaster and Vagosola, and the great Danaper, extend- 
ing to the Taurus range^ — not the mountains in Asia but 
our own, that is, the Scythian Taurus — all the w^ay to 
Lake Maeotis. Beyond Lake Maeotis it spreads on the 
other side of the straits of Bosphorus to the Caucasus 
Mountains and the river Araxes. Then it bends back to 
the left behind the Caspian Sea, which comes from the 
northeastern ocean in the most distant parts of Asia, and 
so is formed like a mushroom, at first narrow and then 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY • 59 

broad and round in shape. It extends as far as the Huns, 

31 Albani and Seres. This land, I say — namely, Scythia, 
stretching far and spreading wide — has on the east the 
Seres, a race that dwelt at the very beginning of their 
history on the shore of the Caspian Sea. On the west are 
the Germans and the river Vistula; on the arctic side, 
namely the north, it is surrounded by Ocean ; on the south 
by Persis, Albania, Hiberia, Pontus and the farthest 
channel of the Ister, which is called the Danube all the 

32 way from mouth to source. But in that region where 
Scythia touches the Pontic coast it is dotted with towns 
of no mean fame : — Borysthenis, Olbia, Callipolis, Cher- 
son, Theodosia, Careon, Myrmicion and Trapezus. These 
towns the wild Scythian tribes allowed the Greeks to build 
to afford them means of trade. In the midst of Scythia is 
the place that separates Asia and Europe, I mean the 
Rhipaeian mountains, from which the mighty Tanais 
flows. This river enters Maeotis, a marsh having a cir- 
cuit of one hundred and four miles and never sub- 
siding to a depth of less than eight cubits. 

33 In the land of Scythia to the westward dwells, first of 
all, the race of the Gepidae, surrounded by great and 
famous rivers. For the Tisia flows through it on the 
north and northwest, and on the southwest is the great 
Danube. On the east it is cut by the Flutausis, a swiftly 
eddying stream that sweeps whirling into the Ister's 

34 waters. Within these rivers lies Dacia, encircled by the 
lofty Alps as by a crown. Near their left ridge, which 
inclines toward the north, and beginning at the source of 
the Vistula, the populous race of the Venethi dwell, occu- 
pying a great expanse of land. Though their names are 
now dispersed amid various clans and places, yet they are 

35 chiefly called Sclaveni and Antes. The abode of the 
Sclaveni extends from the city of Noviodunum and the 
lake called Mursianus to the Danaster, and northward as 
far as the Vistula. They have swamps and forests for 



60 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

their cities. The Antes, who are the bravest of these 

peoples dwelhng in the curve of the sea of Pontus, spread 

from the Danaster to the Danaper, rivers that are many 

days' journey apart. But on the shore of Ocean, where 36 

the floods of the river Vistula empty from three mouths, 

the Vidivarii dwell, a people gathered out of various 

tribes. Beyond them the Aesti, a subject race, likewise 

hold the shore of Ocean. To the south dwell the Acatziri 

a very brave tribe ignorant of agriculture, who subsist 

on their flocks and by hunting. Farther away and above 37 

the Sea of Pontus are the abodes of the Bulgares, well 

known from the disasters our neglect has brought 

upon us. From this region the Huns, like a fruitful 

root of bravest races, sprouted into two hordes of people. 

Some of these are called Altziagiri, others Sabiri; and 

they have difl:'erent dwelling places. The Altziagiri are 

near Cherson, where the avaricious traders bring in the 

goods of Asia. In summer they range the plains, their 

broad domains, wherever the pasturage for their cattle 

invites them, and betake themselves in winter beyond the 

sea of Pontus. Now the Hunuguri are known to us from 

the fact that they trade in marten skins. But they have 

been cowed by their bolder neighbors. 

We read that in their first abode the Goths dwelt 38 

The in the land of Scythia near Lake Maeotis; in their 

Three Abodes , . , ^ . ^, , -r^ • , • 1 • 

OF THE Goths second m Moesia, Thrace and Dacia, and m their 

third they dwelt again in Scythia, above the sea of 

Pontus. Nor do we find anywhere in their written 

records legends which tell of their subjection to 

slavery in Britain or in some other island, or of their 

redemption by a certain man at the cost of a single horse. 

Of course if anyone in our city says that the Goths had an 

origin different from that I have related, let him object. 

For myself, I prefer to believe what I have read, rather 

than put trust in old wives' tales. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 6l 

39 To return, then, to my subject. The aforesaid race of 
which I speak is known to have had FiHmer as king while 
they remained in their first home in Scythia near Maeotis. 
In their second home, that is, in the countries of Dacia, 
Thrace and Moesia, Zahiioxes reigned, whom many writ- 
ers of annals mention as a man of remarkable learning in 
philosophy. Yet even before this they had a learned man 
Zeuta, and after him Dicineus; and the third was Zal- 
moxes of whom I have made mention above. Nor did 

40 they lack teachers of wisdom. Wherefore the Goths have 
ever been wiser than other barbarians and were nearly 
like the Greeks, as Dio relates, who wrote their history 
and annals with a Greek pen. He says that those of noble 
birth among them, from whom their kings and priests 
were appointed, were called first Tarabostesei and then 
Pilleati. Moreover so highly were the Getae praised that 
Mars, whom the fables of poets call the god of war, was re- 
puted to have been born among them. Hence Vergil says : 

41 "Father Gradivus rules the Getic fields." 

Now Mars has always been worshipped by the Goths 
with cruel rites, and captives were slain as his victims. 
They thought that he who is lord of war ought to be 
appeased by the shedding of human blood. To him they 
devoted the first share of the spoil, and in his honor arms 
stripped from the foe were suspended from trees. And 
they had more than all other races a deep spirit of relig- 
ion, since the worship of this god seemed to be really 
bestowed upon their ancestor. 

42 In their third dwelling place, which was above the Sea 
of Pontus, they had now become more civilized and, as I 
have said before, were more learned. Then the people 
were divided under ruling families. The Visigoths served 
the family of the Balthi and the Ostrogoths served the 

43 renowned Amali. They were the first race of men to 
string the bow with cords, as Lucan, who is more of a 
historian than a poet, affirms : 



62 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



"They string Armenian bows with Getic cords." 

In earHest times they sang of the deeds of their ances- 
tors in strains of song accompanied b}/- the cithara; chant- 
ing of Eterpamara, Hanala, Fritigern, Vidigoia and 
others whose fame among them is great; such heroes as 
admiring antiquity scarce proclaims its own to be. Then, 44 
as the story goes, Vesosis waged a war disastrous to 
himself against the Scythians, whom ancient tradition 
asserts to have been the husbands of the Amazons. Con- 
cerning these female warriors Orosius speaks in convinc- 
ing language. Thus we can clearly prove that Vesosis 
then fought with the Goths, since we know surely that he 
waged war with the husbands of the Amazons. They 
dwelt at that time along a bend of Lake Maeotis, from 
the river Borysthenes, which the natives call the Danaper, 
The River Don to the stream of the Tanais. By the Tanais I mean the 45 
river which flows down from the Rhipaeian mountains 
and rushes with so swift a current that when the neigh- 
boring streams or Lake Maeotis and the Bosphorus are 
frozen fast, it is the only river that is kept warm by the 
rugged mountains and is never solidified by the Scythian 
cold. It is also famous as the boundary of Asia and 
Europe. For the other Tanais is the one which rises in 
the mountains of the Chrinni and flows into the Caspian 
The Dnieper Sea. The Danaper begins in a great marsh and issues 46 
from it as from its mother. It is sweet and fit to drink 
as far as half-way down its course. It also produces fish 
of a fine flavor and without bones, having only cartilage 
as the frame-work of their bodies. But as it approaches 
the Pontus it receives a little stream called Exampaeus, 
so very bitter that although the river is navigable for the 
length of a forty days' voyage, it is so altered by the 
water of this scanty stream as to become tainted and 
unlike itself, and flows thus tainted into the sea between 
the Greek towns of Callipidae and Hypanis. At its mouth 
there is an island named Achilles. Between these two 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



63 



rivers is a vast land filled with forests and treacherous 
swamps. 

47 VI This was the region where the Goths dwelt when 
Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, made war upon them. 
Their king at that time was Tanausis. In a battle at the 
river Phasis (whence come the birds called pheasants, 
which are found in abundance at the banquets of the great 
all over the world) Tanausis, king of the Goths, met 
Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, and there inflicted a 
severe defeat upon him, pursuing him even to Egypt. 
Had he not been restrained by the waters of the impass- 
able Nile and the fortifications which Vesosis had long 
ago ordered to be made against the raids of the Ethio- 
pians, he would have slain him in his own land. But 
finding he had no power to injure him there, he returned 
and conquered almost all Asia and made it subject and 
tributary to Sornus, king of the Medes, who was then his 
dear friend. At that time some of his victorious army, 
seeing that the subdued provinces were rich and fruit- 
ful, deserted their companies and of their own accord 
remained in various parts of Asia. 

48 From their name or race Pompeius Trogus says the 
stock of the Parthians had its origin. Hence even to-day 
in the Scythian tongue they are called Parthi, that is, 
Deserters. And in consequence of their descent they are 
archers — almost alone among all the nations of Asia — 
and are very valiant warriors. Now in regard to the 
name, though I have said they were called Parthi because 
they were deserters, some have traced the derivation of 
the word otherwise, saying that they were called Parthi 
because they fled from their kinsmen. Now when this 
Tanausis, king of the Goths, was dead, his people wor- 
shipped him as one of their gods. 

49 VII After his death, while the army under his suc- 
cessors was engaged in an expedition in other parts, a 
neighboring tribe attempted to carry off women of the 



Defeat of 

Vesosis 
(Sesostris) 



64 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Goths as booty. But they made a brave resistance, as 

they had been taught to do by their husbands, and routed 

-PHj. in disgrace the enemy who had come upon them. When 

Amazons in they had won this victory, they were inspired with greater 
Asia Minor , . , ^ ,, . , , , , 

danng. Mutually encouragmg each other, they took up 

arms and chose two of the bolder, Lampeto and Marpesia, 
to act as their leaders. While they were in command, 50 
they cast lots both for the defense of their own country 
and the devastation of other lands. So Lampeto remained 
to guard their native land and Marpesia took a company 
of women and led this novel army into Asia. After con- 
quering various tribes in war and making others their 
allies by treaties, she came to the Caucasus. There she 
remained for some time and gave the place the name Rock 
of Marpesia, of which also Vergil makes mention : 

"Like to hard flint or the Marpesian Cliff." 

It was here Alexander the Great afterwards built gates 
and named them the Caspian Gates, which now the tribe 
of the Lazi guard as a Roman outpost. Here, then, 51 
the Amazons remained for some time and were much 
strengthened. Then they departed and crossed the river 
Halys, which flows near the city of Gangra, and with 
equal success subdued Armenia, Syria, Cilicia, Galatia, 
Pisidia and all the places of Asia. Then they turned to 
Ionia and Aeolia, and made provinces of them after their 
surrender. Here they ruled for some time and even 
founded cities and camps bearing their name. At Ephesus 
also they built a very costly and beautiful temple for 
Diana, because of her delight in archery and the chase — 
arts to which they were themselves devoted. Then these 52 
Scythian-born women, who had by such a chance gained 
control over the kingdoms of Asia, held them for almost 
a hundred years, and at last came back to their own kins- 
folk in the Marpesian rocks I have mentioned above, 
namely the Caucasus mountains. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 65 

Inasmuch as I have twice mentioned this mountain- 
range, I thinl< it not out of place to describe its extent and The 
situation, for, as is well known, it encompasses a great 

53 part of the earth with its continuous chain. Beginning 
at the Indian Ocean, where it faces the south it is warm, 
giving off vapor in the sun; where it lies open to the 
north it is exposed to chill winds and frost. Then bend- 
ing back into Syria with a curving turn, it not only sends 
forth many other streams, but pours from its plenteous 
breasts into the Vasianensian region the Euphrates and 
the Tigris, navigable rivers famed for their unfailing 
springs. These rivers surround the land of the Syrians 
and cause it to be called Mesopotamia, as it truly is. Their 

54 waters empty into the bosom of the Red Sea. Then turn- 
ing back to the north, the range I have spoken of passes 
with great bends through the Scythian lands. There it 
sends forth very famous rivers into the Caspian Sea — the 
Araxes, the Cyrus and the Cambyses. It goes on in con- 
tinuous range even to the Rhipaeian mountains. Thence 
it descends from the north toward the Pontic Sea, fur- 
nishing a boundary to the Scythian tribes by its ridge, and 
even touches the waters of the Ister with its clustered 
hills. Being cut by this river, it divides, and in Scythia 

55 is named Taurus also. Such then is the great range, 
almost the mightiest of mountain chains, rearing aloft its 
summits and by its natural conformation supplying men 
with impregnable strongholds. Here and there it divides 
where the ridge breaks apart and leaves a deep gap, thus 
forming now the Caspian Gates, and again the Armenian 
or the Cilician, or of whatever name the place may be. 
Yet they are barely passable for a wagon, for both sides 
are sharp and steep as well as very high. The range has 
different names among various peoples. The Indian calls 
it Imaus and in another part Paropamisus. The Parthian 
calls it first Choatras and afterward Niphates ; the Syrian 
and Armenian call it Taurus ; the Scythian names it Cau- 



66 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



The 
Amazons 



Reign 
OF Telefus 

AND 
EURYPYLUS 



casus and Rhipaeus, and at its end calls it Taurus. Many 
Other tribes have given names to the range. Now that we 
have devoted a few words to describing its extent, let us 
return to the subject of the Amazons from which we have 
digressed. 

VIII Fearing their race would fail, they sought mar- 56 
riage with neighboring tribes. They appointed a day for 
meeting once in every year, so that when they should 
return to the same place on that day in the following year 
each mother might give over to the father whatever male 
child she had borne, but should herself keep and train for 
warfare whatever children of the female sex were born. 

Or else, as some maintain, they exposed the males, de- 
stroying the life of the ill-fated child with a hate like 
that of a stepmother. Among them childbearing was 
detested, though everywhere else it is desired. The terror 57 
of their cruelty was increased by common rumor; for 
what hope, pray, would there be for a captive, when it 
was considered wrong to spare even a son? Hercules, 
they say fought against them and overcame Menalippe, 
yet more by guile than by valor. Theseus, moreover, took 
Hippolyte captive, and of her he begat Hippolytus. And 
in later times the Amazons had a queen named Penthe- 
silea, famed in the tales of the Trojan war. These women 
are said to have kept their power even to the time of 
Alexander the Great. 

IX But say not "Why does a story which deals with 58 
the men of the Goths have so much to say of their wo- 
men?" Hear, then, the tale of the famous and glorious 
valor of the men. Now Dio, the historian and diligent 
investigator of ancient times, who gave to his work the 

title "Getica" (and the Getae we have proved in a pre- 
vious passage to be Goths, on the testimony of Orosius 
Paulus) — this Dio, I say, makes mention of a later king 
of theirs named Telefus. Let no one say that this name 
is quite foreign to the Gothic tongue, and let no one who 
is ignorant cavil at the fact that the tribes of men make 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



67 



use of many names, even as the Romans borrow from the 
Macedonians, the Greeks from the Romans, the Sarma- 
tians from the Germans, and the Goths frequently from 

59 the Huns. This Telefus, then, a son of Hercules by 
Auge, and the husband of a sister of Priam, was of 
towering stature and terrible strength. He matched his 
father's valor by virtues of his own and also recalled the 
traits of Hercules by his likeness in appearance. Our 
ancestors called his kingdom Moesia. This province has 
on the east the mouths of the Danube, on the south 
Macedonia, on the west Histria and on the north the 

60 Danube. Now this king we have mentioned carried oh 
wars with the Greeks, and in their course he slew in battle 
Thesander, the leader of Greece. But while he was mak- 
ing a hostile attack upon Ajax and was pursuing Ulysses, 
his horse became entangled in some vines and fell. He 
himself was thrown and wounded in the thigh by a javelin 
of Achilles, so that for a long time he could not be healed. 
Yet, despite his wound, he drove the Greeks from his 
land. Now when Telefus died, his son Eurypylus suc- 
ceeded to the throne, being a son of the sister of Priam, 
king of the Phrygians. For love of Cassandra he sought 
to take part in the Trojan war, that he might come to the 
help of her parents and his own father-in-law; but soon 
after his arrival he was killed. 

61 X Then Cyrus, king of the Persians, after a long 
interval of almost exactly six hundred and thirty years 
(as Pompeius Trogus relates), waged an unsuccessful 
war against Tomyris, queen of the Getae. Elated by his 
victories in Asia, he strove to conquer the Getae, whose 
queen, as I have said, was Tomyris. Though she could 
have stopped the approach of Cyrus at the river Araxes, 
yet she permitted him to cross, preferring to overcome 
him in battle rather than to thwart him by advantage of 

62 position. And so she did. As Cyrus approached, fortune 
at first so favored the Parthians that they slew the son 



Cyrus the 

Great 

B.C. 559-529 



Queen 

Tomyris and 

Cyrus 

B.C. 529 



68 



JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Darius 
B.C. 521-485 



Darius 
repelled 



Xerxes 
B.C. 485-465 



of Tomyris and most of the army. But when the battle 
was renewed, the Getae and their queen defeated, con- 
quered and overwhehned the Parthians and took rich 
phinder from them. There for the first time the race of 
the Goths saw silken tents. After achieving this victory 
and winning so much booty from her enemies, Queen 
Tomyris crossed over into that part of Moesia which is 
now called Lesser Scythia^ — a name borrowed from great 
Scythia — and built on the Moesian shore of Pontus the 
city of Tomi, named after herself. 

Afterwards Darius, king of the Persians, the son of 63 
Hystaspes, demanded in marriage the daughter of Anty- 
rus, king of the Goths, asking for her hand and at the 
same time making threats in case they did not fulfil his 
wish. The Goths spurned this alliance and brought his 
embassy to naught. Inflamed with anger because his 
offer had been rejected, he led an army of seven hundred 
thousand armed men against them and sought to avenge 
his wounded feelings by inflicting a public injury. Cross- 
ing on boats covered with boards and joined like a bridge 
almost the whole way from Chalcedon to Byzantium, he 
started for Thrace and Moesia. Later he built a bridge 
over the Danube in like manner, but he was wearied by 
two brief months of effort and lost eight thousand armed 
men at Tapae. Then, fearing the bridge over the Danube 
would be seized by his foes, he marched back to Thrace 
in swift retreat, believing the land of Moesia would not 
be safe for even a short sojourn there. 

After his death, his son Xerxes planned to avenge his 64 
father's wrongs and so proceeded to undertake a war 
against the Goths with seven hundred thousand of his 
own men and three hundred thousand armed auxiliaries, 
twelve hundred ships of war and three thousand trans- 
ports. But he did not venture to try them in battle, being 
overawed by their unyielding courage. So he returned 
with his force just as he had come, and without fighting 
a single battle. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



69 



65 Then Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, made 
alliance with the Goths and took to wife Medopa, the 
daughter of King Gudila, so that he might render the 
kingdom of Macedon more secure by the help of this 
marriage. It was at this time, as the historian Dio re- 
lates, that Philip, suffering from need of money, deter- 
mined to lead out his forces and sack Odessus, a city of 
Moesia, which was then subject to the Goths by reason of 
the neighboring city of Tomi. Thereupon those priests 
of the Goths that are called the Holy Men suddenly 
opened the gates of Odessus and came forth to meet them. 
They bore harps and were clad in snowy robes, and 
chanted in suppliant strains to the gods of their fathers 
that they might be propitious and repel the Macedonians. 
When the Macedonians saw them coming with such con- 
fidence to meet them, they were astonished and, so to 
speak, the armed were terrified by the unarmed. Straight- 
way they broke the line they had formed for battle and 
not only refrained from destroying the city, but even 
gave back those whom they had captured outside by right 
of war. Then they made a truce and returned to their 
own country. 

66 After a long time Sitalces, a famous leader of the 
Goths, remembering this treacherous attempt, gathered a 
hundred and fifty thousand men and made war upon the 
Athenians, fighting against Perdiccas, King of Macedon. 
This Perdiccas had been left by Alexander as his succes- 
sor to rule Athens by hereditary right, when he drank his 
destruction at Babylon through the treachery of an at- 
tendant. The Goths engaged in a great battle with him 
and proved themselves to be the stronger. Thus in return 
for the wrong which the Macedonians had long before 
committed in Moesia, the Goths overran Greece and laid 
waste the whole of Macedonia. 

67 XI Then when Buruista was king of the Goths, 
Dicineus came to Gothia at the time when Sulla ruled the 



Philip of 

Macedon 

B.C. 359-336 



Siege 

OF 

Odessus 



Sulla's 

Dictatorship 

B.C. 82-79 



70 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



The Wise 

RULE OF 
DiCINEUS 



Caesar's 

Dictatorship 

B.C. 49-44 



Tiberius 
A.D. 14-37 



Romans. Buruista received Dicineus and gave him al- 
most royal power. It was by his advice the Goths ravaged 
the lands of the Germans, which the Franks now possess. 
Then came Caesar, the first of all the Romans to assume 68 
imperial power and to subdue almost the whole world, 
who conquered all kingdoms and even seized islands lying 
beyond our world, reposing in the bosom of Ocean. He 
made tributary to the Romans those that knew not the 
Roman name even by hearsay, and yet was unable to pre- 
vail against the Goths, despite his frequent attempts. 
Soon Gains Tiberius reigned as third emperor of the 
Romans, and yet the Goths continued in their kingdom 
unharmed. Their safety, their advantage, their one hope 69 
lay in this, that whatever their counsellor Dicineus ad- 
vised should by all means be done; and they judged it 
expedient that they should labor for its accomplishment. 
And when he saw that their minds were obedient to him 
in all things and that they had natural ability, he taught 
them almost the whole of philosophy, for he was a skilled 
master of this subject. Thus by teaching them ethics he 
restrained their barbarous customs ; by imparting a knowl- 
edge of physics he made them live naturally under laws 
of their own, which they possess in written form to this 
day and call belagines. He taught them logic and made 
them skilled in reasoning beyond all other races; he 
showed them practical knowledge and so persuaded them 
to abound in good works. By demonstrating theoretical 
knowledge he urged them to contemplate the courses of 
the twelve signs and of the planets passing through them, 
and the whole of astronomy. He told them how the disc 
of the moon gains increase or suffers loss, and showed 
them how much the fiery globe of the sun exceeds m size 
our earthly planet. He explained the names of the three 
hundred and forty-six stars and told through what signs 
in the arching vault of the heavens they glide swiftly from 
their rising to their setting. Think, I pray you, what 70 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 7 1 

pleasure it was for these brave men, when for a Httle 
space they had leisure from warfare, to be instructed in 
the teachings of philosophy! You might have seen one 
scanning the position of the heavens and another investi- 
gating the nature of plants and bushes. Here stood one 
who studied the waxing and waning of the moon, while 
still another regarded the labors of the sun and observed 
how those bodies which were hastening to go toward the 
east are whirled around and borne back to the west by 
the rotation of the heavens. When they had learned the 

71 reason, they were at rest. These and various other mat- 
ters Dicineus taught the Goths in his wisdom and gained 
marvellous repute among them, so that he ruled not only 
the common men but their kings. He chose from among 
them those that were at that time of noblest birth and 
superior wisdom and taught them theology, bidding them 
worship certain divinities and holy places. He gave the 
name of Pilleati to the priests he ordained, I suppose 
because they offered sacrifice having their heads covered 

72 with tiaras, which we otherwise call pillei. But he bade 
them call the rest of their race Capillati. This name the 
Goths accepted and prized highly, and they retain it to 
this day in their songs. 

yT, After the death of Dicineus, they held Comosicus in 
almost equal honor, because he was not inferior in knowl- 
edge. By reason of his wisdom he was accounted their 
priest and king, and he judged the people with the great- 
est uprightness. 

Xn When he too had departed from human affairs, 
Coryllus ascended the throne as king of the Goths and for 
forty years ruled his people in Dacia. I mean ancient Dacia 

74 Dacia, which the race of the Gepidae now possesses. This 
country lies across the Danube within sight of Moesia, 
and is surrounded by a crown of mountains. It has only 
two ways of access, one by way of Boutae and the 
other by Tapae. This Gothia, which our ancestors 



72 



JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



The 
Danube 



Domitian 
A.D. 81-96 



War with 
Domitian 



called Dacia and now, as I have said, is called Gepidia, 
was then bounded on the east by the Roxolani, on the west 
by the lazyges, on the north by the Sarmatians and Bas- 
ternae and on the south by the river Danube. The lazyges 
are separated from the Roxolani by the Aluta river only. 

And since mention has been made of the Danube, I 75 
think it not out of place to make brief notice of so excel- 
lent a stream. Rising in the fields of the Alamanni, it 
receives sixty streams which flow into it here and there 
in the twelve hundred miles from its source to its mouths 
in the Pontus, resembling a spine inwoven with ribs like 
a basket. It is indeed a most vast river. In the language 
of the Bessi it is called the Hister, and it has profound 
waters in its channel to a depth of quite two hundred feet. 
This stream surpasses in size all other rivers, except the 
Nile. Let this much suffice for the Danube. But let us 
now with the Lord's help return to the subject from which 
we have digressed. 

XIII Now after a long time, in the reign of the yd 
Emperor Domitian, the Goths, through fear of his ava- 
rice, broke the truce they had long observed under other 
emperors. They laid waste the bank of the Danube, so 
long held by the Roman Empire, and slew the soldiers and 
their generals. Oppius Sabinus was then governor of 
that province, after Agrippa, while Dorpaneus held 
command over the Goths. Thereupon the Goths made 
war and conquered the Romans, cut off the head of 
Oppius Sabinus and invaded and boldly plundered many 
castles and cities belonging to the Emperor. In this plight yy 
of his countrymen Domitian hastened with all his might 
to Illyricum, bringing with him the troops of almost 
the entire empire. He sent Fuscus before him as his 
general with picked soldiers. Then joining boats to- 
gether like a bridge, he made his soldiers cross the river 
Danube above the army of Dorpaneus. But the Goths 78 
were on the alert. They took up arms and presently over- 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



7Z 



whelmed the Romans in the first encounter. They slew 
Fusctis, the commander, and plundered the soldiers' camp 
of its treasure. And because of the great victory they 
had won in this region, they thereafter called their lead- 
ers, by whose good fortune they seemed to have con- 
quered, not mere men, but demigods, that is Ansis. Their 
genealogy I shall run through briefly, telling the lineage 
of each and the beginning and the end of this line. And 
do thou, O reader, hear me without repining ; for I speak 
truly. 

79 XIV Now the first of these heroes, as they them- 
selves relate in their legends, was Gapt, who begat 
Hulmul. And Hulmul begat Augis; and Augis begat 
him who was called Amal, from whom the name of the 
Amali conies. This Amal begat Hisarnis. Hisarnis 
moreover begat Ostrogotha, and Ostrogotha begat Hu- 
nuil, and Hunuil likewise begat Athal. Athal begat 
Achiulf and Oduulf. Now Achiulf begat Ansila and 
Ediulf, Vultuulf and Hermanaric. And Vultuulf begat 
Valaravans and Valaravans begat Vinitharius. Vinitha- 

80 rius moreover begat Vandalarius ; Vandalarius begat 
Thiudimer and Valamir and Vidimer; and Thiudimer 
begat Theodoric. Theodoric begat Amalasuentha ; Amal- 
asuentha bore Athalaric and Mathesuentha to her hus- 
band Eutharic, whose race was thus joined to hers in 

81 kinship. For the aforesaid Hermanaric, the son of 
Achiulf, begat Hunimund, and Hunimund begat Thoris- 
mud. Now Thorismud begat Beremud, Beremud begat 
Veteric, and Veteric likewise begat Eutharic, who mar- 
ried Amalasuentha and begat Athalaric and Mathesu- 
entha. Athalaric died in the years of his childhood, and 
Mathesuentha married Vitiges, to whom she bore no 
child. Both of them were taken together by Belisarius to 
Constantinople. When Vitiges passed from human af- 
fairs, Germanus the patrician, a nephew of the Emperor 
Justinian, took Mathesuentha in marriage aiid made her 



Genealogy 

OF THE 

Ansis or 
Amali 



74 



JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Maximin, 
THE Goth 

WHO BECAME 

A Roman 
Emperor 



Septimius 

Severus 

A.D. 193-21 1 



a Patrician Ordinary. And of her he begat a son, also 
called Germanus. But upon the death of Germanus, she 
determined to remain a widow. Now how and in what 
wise the kingdom of the Amali was overthrown we shall 
keep to tell in its proper place, if the Lord help us. 

But let us now return to the point whence we made our S2 
digression and tell how the stock of this people of whom 
I speak reached the end of its course. Now Ablabius the 
historian relates that in Scythia, where we have said that 
they were dwelling above an arm of the Pontic Sea, part 
of them who held the eastern region and whose king was 
Ostrogotha, were call Ostrogoths, that is, eastern 
Goths, either from his name or from the place. But the 
rest were called Visigoths, that is, the Goths of the west- 
ern country. 

XV As already said, they crossed the Danube and 83 
dwelt a little while in Moesia and Thrace. From the 
remnant of these came Maximin, the Emperor succeed- 
ing Alexander the son of Mamaea. For Symmachus re- 
lates it thus in the fifth book of his history, saying that 
upon the death of Caesar Alexander, Maximin was 
made Emperor by the army; a man born in Thrace of 
most humble parentage, his father being a Goth named 
Micca, and his mother a woman of the Alani called 
Ababa. He reigned three years and lost alike his empire 
and his life while making war on the Christians. Now 84 
after his first years spent in rustic life, he had come from 
his flocks to military service in the reign of the Emperor 
Severus and at the time when the latter was celebrating 
his son's birthday. It happened that the Emperor was giv- 
ing military games. When Maximin saw this, although 
he was a semi-barbarian youth, he besought the Emperor 
in his native tongue to give him permission to wrestle with 
the trained soldiers for the prizes offered. Severus mar- 85 
veiling much at his great size — for his stature, it is said, 
was more than eight feet — bade him contend in wrestling 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



75 



with the camp followers, in order that no injury might 
befall his soldiers at the hands of this wild fellow. There- 
upon Maximin threw sixteen attendants with so great 
ease that he conquered them one by one without taking 
any rest by pausing between the bouts. So then, when 
he had won the prizes he was ordered into the army 
and served his first campaign with the cavalry. On 
the third day after this, when the Emperor went out 
to the field, he saw him coursing about in barbarian 
fashion and bade a tribune restrain him and teach 
him Roman discipline. But when he understood that 
the Emperor was speaking about him, he came for- 

86 ward and began to run ahead of him as he rode. Then 
the Emperor spurred on his horse to a slow trot and 
wheeled in many a circle hither and thither with various 
turns, until he was weary. And then he said to him "Are 
you willing to wrestle now after your running, my little 
Thracian?" "As much as you like, O Emperor," he 
answered. So Severus leaped from his horse and ordered 
the freshest soldiers to wrestle with him. But he threw 
to the ground seven very powerful youths, even as before, 
taking no breathing space between the bouts. So he alone 
was given prizes of silver and a golden necklace by Cae- 
sar. Then he was bidden to serve in the body guard of 

87 the Emperor. After this he was an officer under Anto- 
ninus Caracalla, often increasing his fame by his deeds, 
and rose to many military grades and finally to the cen- 
turionship as a reward of his active service. Yet after- 
wards, when Macrinus became Emperor, he refused mili- 
tary service for almost three years, and though he held 
the office of tribune, he never came into the presence of 
Macrinus, thinking his rule shameful because he had won 

88 it by committing a crime. Then he returned to Helioga- 
balus, believing him to be the son of Antoninus, and 
entered upon his tribuneship. After his reign, he fought 
with marvellous success against the Parthians, under 



Antoninus 

Caracalla 

A.D. 198-217 



Macrinus 
A.D. 217-218 



Antoninus 

Elagabalus 

A.D. 218-222 



76 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Alexander 

A.D. 222-235 

IMaximin 
A.D. 235-238 



Pupienus 
A.D. 238 



King 

ostrogotha 

wars with 

Philip 



Philip pater 

A.D. 244-249 

"The Arabian" 



Philip filius 
A.D. 247-249 



Alexander the son of Mamaea. When he was slain in an 
uprising of the soldiers at Mogontiacum, Maximin him- 
self was made Emperor by a vote of the army, with- 
out a decree of the senate. But he marred all his good 
deeds by persecuting the Christians in accordance with 
an evil vow and, being slain by Pupienus at Aquileia, left 
the kingdom to Philip. These matters we have borrowed 
from the history of Symmachus for this our little book, 
in order to show that the race of which we speak attained 
to the very highest station in the Roman Empire. But 
our subject requires us to return in due order to the point 
whence we digressed. 

XVI Now the Gothic race gained great fame in the 
region where they were then dwelling, that is, in the 
Scythian land on the shore of Pontus, holding undisputed 
sway over great stretches of country, many arms of the 
sea and many river courses. By their strong right arm 
the Vandals were often laid low ; the Marcomanni held 
their footing by paying tribute and the princes of the 
Quadi were reduced to slavery. Now when the aforesaid 
Philip — who, with his son Philip, was the only Christian 
emperor before Constantine — ruled over the Romans, in 
the second year of his reign Rome completed its one 
thousandth year. He withheld from the Goths the tribute 
due them; whereupon they were naturally enraged and 
instead of friends became his foes. For though they dwelt 
apart under their own kings, yet they had been allied to 
the Roman state and received annual gifts. And what 
more? Ostrogotha and his men soon crossed the Danube 
and ravaged Moesia and Thrace. Philip sent the senator 
Decius against him. And since he could do nothing 
against the Getae, he released his soldiers from mili- 
tary service and sent them back to private life, as though 
it had been by their neglect that the Goths had crossed the 
Danube. When, as he supposed, he had thus taken ven- 
geance on his soldiers, he returned to Philip. But when 



89 



90 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY jy 

the soldiers found themselves expelled from the army- 
after so many hardships, in their anger they had recourse 

91 to the protection of Ostrogotha, king of the Goths. He 
received them, was aroused by their words and presently 
led out three hundred thousand armed men, having as 
allies for this war some of the Taifali and Astringi and 
also three thousand of the Carpi, a race of men very ready 
to make war and frequently hostile to the Romans. But 
in later times when Diocletian and Maximian were Em- 
perors, the Caesar Galerius Maximianus conquered them 
and made them tributary to the Roman Empire. Besides 
these tribes, Ostrogotha had Goths and Peucini from the 
island of Pence, which lies in the mouths of the Danube 
where they empty into the Sea of Pontus. He placed in 
command Argaith and Guntheric, the noblest leaders 

92 of his race. They speedily crossed the Danube, devas- 
tated Moesia a second time and approached Marcianople, 
the famed metropolis of that land. Yet after a long siege 
they departed, upon receiving money from the inhabitants. 

93 Now since we have mentioned Marcianople, we may 
briefly relate a few matters in connection with its found- 
ing. They say that the Emperor Trajan built this city 
for the following reason. While his sister's daughter 

Marcia was bathing in the stream called Potamus — a 

, ... Marcianople 

river of great clearness and purity that rises in the midst 
of the city — she wished to draw some water from it and 
by chance dropped into its depths the golden pitcher she 
was carrying. Yet though very heavy from its weight 
of metal, it emerged from the waves a long time after- 
wards. It surely is not a usual thing for an empty vessel 
to sink ; much less that, when once swallowed up, it should 
be cast up by the waves and float again. Trajan mar- 
velled at hearing this and believed there was some divin- 
ity in the stream. So he built a city and called it 
Marcianople after the name of his sister. 

94 XVn From this city, then, as we were saying, the 



/S JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

The Getae returned after a long siege to their own land, en- 

Gepidae riched by the ransom they had received. Now the race 

AND THEIR -^ _ -^ _ 

DEFEAT BY of thc Gcpidac was moved with envy when they saw them 
laden with booty and so suddenly victorious everywhere, 
and made war on their kinsmen. Should you ask how 
the Getae and Gepidae are kinsmen, I can tell you in a 
few words. You surely remember that in the beginning 
I said the Goths went forth from the bosom of the island 
of Scandza with Berig, their king, sailing in only three 
ships toward the hither shore of Ocean, namely to 
Gothiscandza. One of these three ships proved to be 95 
slower than the others, as is usually the case, and thus is 
said to have given the tribe their name, for in their 
language gcpanta means slow. Hence it came to pass 
that gradually and by corruption the name Gepidae was 
coined for them by way of reproach. For undoubtedly 
they too trace their origin from the stock of the Goths, 
but because, as I have said, gepanta means something 
slow and stolid, the word Gepidae arose as a gratuitous 
name of reproach. I do not believe this is very far 
wrong, for they are slow of thought and too sluggish for 
quick movement of their bodies. 

These Gepidae were then smitten by envy while they 96 
dwelt in the province of Spesis on an island surrounded 
by the shallow waters of the Vistula. This island they 
called, in the speech of their fathers, Gepedoios; but it is 
now inhabited by the race of the Vividarii, since the 
Gepidae themselves have moved to better lands. The 
Vividarii are gathered from various races into this one 
asylum, if I may call it so, and thus they form a nation. 
So then, as we were saying, Fastida, king of the Gepidae, 97 
stirred up his quiet people to enlarge their boundaries by 
war. He overwhelmed the Burgundians, almost annihi- 
lating them, and conquered a number of other races also. 
He unjustly provoked the Goths, being the first to break 
the bonds of kinship by unseemly strife. He was greatly 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



79 



puffed up with vain glory, but in seeking to acquire new 
lands for his growing nation, he only reduced the num- 

98 bers of his own countrymen. For he sent ambassadors 
to Ostrogotha, to whose rule Ostrogoths and Visigoths 
alike, that is, the two peoples of the same tribe, were still 
subject. Complaining that he was hemmed in by rugged 
mountains and dense forests, he demanded one of two 
things, that Ostrogotha should either prepare for war 

99 or give up part of his lands to them. Then Ostrogotha, 
king of the Goths, who was a man of firm mind, an- 
swered the ambassadors that he did indeed dread such a 
war and that it would be a grievous and infamous thing 
to join battle with their kin — but he would not give up 
his lands. And why say more? The Gepidae hastened 
to take arms and Ostrogotha likewise moved his forces 
against them, lest he should seem a coward. They met 
at the town of Galtis, near which the river Auha flows, 
and there both sides fought with great valor; indeed the 
similarity of their arms and of their manner of fighting 
turned them against their own men. But the better cause 

100 and their natural alertness aided the Goths. Finally night 
put an end to the battle as a part of the Gepidae were 
giving way. Then Fastida, king of the Gepidae, left the 
field of slaughter and hastened to his own land, as much 
humiliated with shame and disgrace as formerly he had 
been elated with pride. The Goths returned victorious, 
content with the retreat of the Gepidae, and dwelt in 
peace and happiness in their own land so long as Ostro- 
gotha was their leader. 

1 01 XVIII After his death, Cniva divided the army into 
two parts and sent some to waste Moesia, knowing that it 
was undefended through the neglect of the emperors. 
He himself with seventy thousand men hastened to 
Euscia, that is, Novae. When driven from this place by 
the general Gallus, he approached Nicopolis, a very fa- 
mous town situated near the latrus river. This city 



King Cniva 

at war with 

Decius 



8o 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Decius 
A.D. 249-251 



Capture of 

PhilippopoHs 

A.D. 2=;o 



Death of 

Decius at 

Abrittus 

A.D. 251 



Callus 
A.D. 251-253 



Volusianus 
A.D. 252-253 



Trajan built when he conquered the Sarmatians and 
named it the City of Victory. When the Emperor Decius 
drew near, Cniva at last withdrew to the regions of 
Haemus, which were not far distant. Thence he hastened 
to Philippopolis, with his forces in good array. When 
the Emperor Decius learned of his departure, he was 
eager to bring relief to his own city and, crossing Mount 
Haemus, came to Beroa. While he was resting his horses 
and his weary army in that place, all at once Cniva and 
his Goths fell upon him like a thunderbolt. He cut the 
Roman army to pieces and drove the Emperor, with a 
few who had succeeded in escaping, across the iVlps again 
to Euscia in Moesia, where Gallus was then stationed 
with a large force of soldiers as guardian of the frontier. 
Collecting an army from this region as well as from 
Oescus, he prepared for the conflict of the coming war. 
But Cniva took Philippopolis after a long siege and then, 
laden with spoil, allied himself to Priscus, the commander 
in the city, to fight against Decius. In the battle that 
followed they quickly pierced the son of Decius with an 
arrow and cruelly slew him. His father saw it, and 
although he is said to have exclaimed, to cheer the hearts 
of his soldiers: "Let no one mourn; the death of one 
soldier is not a great loss to the republic," he was yet 
unable to endure it, because of his love for his son. So 
he rode against the foe, demanding either death or ven- 
geance, and when he came to Abrittus, a city of Moesia, 
he was himself cut off by the Goths and slain, thus mak- 
ing an end of his dominion and of his life. This place 
is to-day called the Altar of Decius, because he there 
offered strange sacrifices to idols before the battle. 

XIX Then upon the death of Decius, Gallus and 
Volusianus succeeded to the Roman Empire. At this 
time a destructive plague, almost like death itself, such 
as we suffered nine years ago, blighted the face of the 
whole earth and especially devastated Alexandria and all 



102 



103 



104 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



8l 



the land of Egypt. The historian Dionysius gives a 
mournful account of it and Cyprian, our own bishop and 
venerable martyr in Christ, also describes it in his book 
entitled "On Mortality." At this time the Goths fre- 
quently ravaged Moesia, through the neglect of the Em- 

105 perors. When a certain Aemilianus saw that they were 
free to do this, and that they could not be dislodged by 
anyone without great cost to the republic, he thought that 
he too might be able to achieve fame and fortune. So he 
seized the rule in Moesia and, taking all the soldiers he 
could gather, began to plunder cities and people. In the 
next few months, while an armed host was being gath- 
ered against him, he wrought no small harm to the state. 
Yet he died almost at the beginning of his evil attempt, 
thus losing at once his life and the power he coveted. 

106 Now though Gallus and Volusianus, the Emperors we 
have mentioned, departed this life after remaining in 
power for barely two years, yet during this space of two 
years which they spent on earth they reigned amid uni- 
versal peace and favor. Only one thing was laid to their 
charge, namely the great plague. But this was an ac- 
cusation made by ignorant slanderers, whose custom it is 
to wound the lives of others with their malicious bite. 
Soon after they came to power they made a treaty with 
the race of the Goths. When both rulers were dead, it 
was no long time before Gallienus usurped the throne. 

107 XX While he was given over to luxurious living of 
every sort, Respa, Veduc and Thuruar, leaders of the 
Goths, took ship and sailed across the strait of the Helle- 
spont to Asia. There they laid waste many populous 
cities and set fire to the renowned temple of Diana at 
Ephesus, which, as we said before, the Amazons built. 
Being driven from the neighborhood of Bithynia, they 
destroyed Chalcedon, which Cornelius Avitus afterwards 
restored to some extent. Yet even to-day, though it is 
happily situated near the royal city, it still shows some 



The Goths in 

the time of 

Gallus, 

Volusianus and 

Aemilianus 



Aemilianus 
A.D. 253 



The Plague 
A.D. 252-267 



Gallienus 
A.D. 253-268 

The Goths 

PLUNDER 

Asia Minor 
A.D. 262 or 263 



82 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



The Times 
OF Diocletian 



Diocletian 
284-305 

Maximian 
284-305 



Constantine I 

396-337 
Licinius 

307-323 



traces of its ruin as a witness to posterity. After their 108 
success, the Goths recrossed the strait of the Hellespont, 
laden with booty and spoil, and returned along the same 
route by which they had entered Asia, sacking Troy 
and Ilium on the way. These cities, which had scarce re- 
covered a little from the famous war with Agamemnon, 
were thus destroyed anew by the hostile sword. After 
the Goths had thus devastated Asia, Thrace next felt 
their ferocity. For they went thither and presently 
attacked Anchiali, a city at the foot of Haemus and not 
far from the sea. Sardanapalus, king of the Parthians, 
had built this city long ago between an inlet of the sea 
and the base of Haemus. There they are said to have 109 
stayed for many days, enjoying the baths of the hot 
springs which are situated about twelve miles from the 
city of Anchiali. There they gush from the depths of 
their fiery source, and among the innumerable hot springs 
of the world they are particularly famous and efficacious 
to heal the sick. 

XXI After these events, the Goths had already re- no 
turned home when they were summoned at the request 
of the Emperor Maximian to aid the Romans against the 
Parthians. They fought for him faithfully, serving as 
auxiliaries. But after Caesar Maximian by their aid had 
routed Narseus, king of the Persians, the grandson of 
Sapor the Great, taking as spoil all his possessions, to- 
gether with his wives and his sons, and when Diocletian 
had conquered Achilles in Alexandria and Maximianus 
Herculius had broken the Quinquegentiani in Africa, thus 
winning peace for the empire, they began rather to neg- 
lect the Goths. 

Now it had long been a hard matter for the Roman 1 1 1 
army to fight against any nations whatsoever without 
them. This is evident from the way in which the Goths 
were so frequently called upo.n. Thus they were sum- 
moned by Constantine to bear arms against his kinsman 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



83 



Licinius. Later, when he was vanquished and shut up 
in Thessalonica and deprived of his power, they slew him 

112 with the sword of Constantine the victor. In hke manner 
it was the aid of the Goths that enabled him to build the 
famous city that is named after him, the rival of Rome, 
inasmuch as they entered into a truce with the Emperor 
and furnished him forty thousand men to aid him against 
various peoples. This body of men, namely, the Allies, 
and the service they rendered in war are still spoken of in 
the land to this day. Now at that time they prospered 
under the rule of their kings Ariaric and Aoric. Upon 
their death Geberich appeared as successor to the throne, 
a man renowned for his valor and noble birth. 

113 XXII For he was the son of Hilderith, who was the 
son of Ovida, who was the son of Nidada; and by his 
illustrious deeds he equalled the glory of his race. Soon 
he sought to enlarge his country's narrow bounds at the 
expense of the race of the Vandals and Visimar, their 
king. This Visimar was of the stock of the Asdingi, 
which is eminent among them and indicates a most war- 
like descent, as Dexippus the historian relates. He states 
furthermore that by reason of the great extent of their 
country they could scarcely come from Ocean to our fron- 
tier in a year's time. At that time they dwelt in the land 
where the Gepidae now live, near the rivers Marisia, 
Miliare, Gilpil and the Grisia, which exceeds in size all 

114 previously mentioned. They then had on the east the 
Goths, on the west the Marcomanni, on the north the 
Hermunduli and on the south the Hister, which is also 
called the Danube. At the time when the Vandals were 
dwelling in this region, war was begun against them by 
Geberich, king of the Goths, on the shore of the river 
Marisia which I have mentioned. Here the battle raged 
for a little while on equal terms. But soon Visimar him- 
self, the king of the Vandals, was overthrown, together 

115 with the greater part of his people. When Geberich, the 



Geberich 

conquers 

THE Vandals 

336 



84 



JORDANKS: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Conquest 

OF THE 

Heruli, Venethi 

AND AeSTI 



famous leader of the Goths, had conquered and spoiled 
the Vandals, he returned to his own place whence he had 
come. Then the remnant of the Vandals who had es- 
caped, collecting a band of their unwarlike folk, left their 
ill-fated country and asked the Emperor Constantine for 
Pannonia. Here they made their home for about sixty 
years and obeyed the commands of the emperors like 
subjects. A long time afterward they were summoned 
thence by Stilicho, Master of the Soldiery, Ex-Consul and 
Patrician, and took possession of Gaul. Here they plun- 
dered their neighbors and had no settled place of abode. 

XXni Soon Geberich, king of the Goths, departed ii6 
from human affairs and Hermanaric, noblest of the 
Amali, succeeded to the throne. He subdued many war- 
like peoples of the north and made them obey his laws, 
and some of our ancestors have justly compared him to 
Alexander the Great. Among the tribes he conquered 
were the Golthescytha, Thiudos, Inaunxis, Vasinabron- 
cae, Merens, Mordens. Imniscaris, Rogas, Tadzans, Ath- 
aul, Navego, Bubegenae and Coldae. But though famous 117 
for his conquest of so many races, he gave himself no rest 
until he had slain some in battle and then reduced to his 
sway the remainder of the tribe of the Heruli, whose chief 
was Alaric. Now the aforesaid race, as the historian 
Ablabius tells us, dwelt near Lake Maeotis in swampy 
places which the Greeks call hele; hence they were named 
Heluri. They were a people swift of foot, and on that 
account were the more swollen with pride, for there was 118 
at that time no race that did not choose from them its 
light-armed troops for battle. But though their quickness 
often saved them from others who made war upon them, 
yet they were overthrown by the slowness and steadiness 
of the Goths; and the lot of fortune brought it to pass 
that they, as well as the other tribes, had to serve Her- 
manaric, king of the Getae. After the slaughter of the 119 
Heruli, Hermanaric also took arms against the Venethi. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 85 

This people, though despised in war, was strong in num- 
bers and tried to resist him. But a muUitude of cowards 
is of no avail, particularly when God permits an armed 
multitude to attack them. These people, as we started 
to say at the beginning of our account or catalogue of 
nations, though off-shoots from one stock, have now 
three names, that is, Venethi, Antes and Sclaveni. Though 
they now rage in war far and wide, in consequence of 
our neglect, yet at that time they were all obedient to Her- 

120 manaric's commands. This ruler also subdued by his 
wisdom and might the race of the Aesti, who dwell on 
the farthest shore of the German Ocean, and ruled all the 
nations of Scythia and Germany by his own prowess 
alone. 

121 XXIV But after a short space of time, as Orosius 
relates, the race of the Huns, fiercer than ferocity itself, 

flamed forth against the Goths. We learn from old tra- and History 
ditions that their origin was as follows : Filimer, king of °^ ^^^ Huns 
the Goths, son of Gadaric the Great, who was the fifth in 
succession to hold the rule of the Getae after their de- 
parture from the island of Scandza — and who, as we have 
said, entered the land of Scythia with his tribe — found 
among his people certain witches, whom he called in his 
native tongue Haliurnnnae. Suspecting these women, he 
expelled them from the midst of his race and compelled 
them to wander in solitary exile afar from his army. 

122 There the unclean spirits, who beheld them as they wan- 
dered through the wilderness, bestowed their embraces 
upon them and begat this savage race, which dwelt at 
first in the swamps, a stunted, foul and puny tribe, 
scarcely human and having no language save one which 
bore but slight resemblance to human speech. Such was 
the descent of the Huns who came to the country of the 
Goths. 

123 This cruel tribe, as Priscus the historian relates, set- 
tled on the farther bank of the Maeotic swamp. They 



86 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

were fond of hunting and had no skill in any other 
art. After they had grown to a nation, they disturbed 
the peace of neighboring races by theft and rapine. At 
one time, while hunters of their tribe were as usual seek- 
ing for game on the farthest edge of Maeotis, they 
saw a doe unexpectedly appear to their sight and enter 
the swamp, acting as guide of the way; now advancing 
and again standing still. The hunters followed and 124 
crossed on foot the Maeotic swamp, which they had 
supposed was impassable as the sea. Presently the 
unknown land of Scythia disclosed itself and the doe 
disappeared. Now in my opinion the evil spirits, from 
whom the Huns are descended, did this from envy of the 
Scythians. And the Huns, who had been wholly ignorant 125 
that there was another world beyond Maeotis, were now 
filled with admiration for the Scythian land. As they 
were quick of mind, they believed that this path, utterly 
unknown to any age of the past, had been divinely re- 
vealed to them. They returned to their tribe, told them 
what had happened, praised Scythia and persuaded the 
people to hasten thither along the way they had found 
by the guidance of the doe. As many as they captured, 
when they thus entered Scythia for the first time, they 
sacrificed to Victory. The remainder they conquered 
and made subject to themselves. Like a whirlwind of 126 
nations they swept across the great swamp and at once 
fell upon the Alpidzuri, Alcildzuri, Itimari, Tuncarsi and 
Boisci, who bordered on that part of Scythia. The Alani 
also, who were their equals in battle, but unlike them in 
civilization, manners and appearance, they exhausted by 
their incessant attacks and subdued. For by the terror 127 
of their features they inspired great fear in those whom 
perhaps they did not really surpass in war. They made 
their foes flee in horror because their swarthy aspect was 
fearful, and they had, if I may call it so, a sort of shape- 
less lump, not a head, with pin-holes rather than eyes. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 8/ 

Their hardihood is evident in their wild appearance, and 
they are beings who are cruel to their children on the 
very day they are born. For they cut the cheeks of the 
males with a sword, so that before they receive the nour- 
ishment of milk they must learn to endure wounds. 

128 Hence they grow old beardless and their young men are 
without comeliness, because a face furrowed by the sword 
spoils by its scars the natural beauty of a beard. They 
are short in stature, quick in bodily movement, alert 
horsemen, broad shouldered, ready in the use of bow and 
arrow, and have firm-set necks which are ever erect in 
pride. Though they live in the form of men, they have 
the cruelty of wild beasts. 

129 When the Getae beheld this active race that had in- First 
vaded many nations, they took fright and consulted with ^^ Huns 
their king how they might escape from such a foe. Now as early as 
although Hermanaric, king of the Goths, was the con- 
queror of many tribes, as we have said above, yet while 

he was deliberating on this invasion of the Huns, the 
treacherous tribe of the Rosomoni, who at that time were 
among those who owed him their homage, took this 
chance to catch him unawares. For when the king had 
given orders that a certain woman of the tribe I have 
mentioned, Sunilda by name, should be bound to wild 
horses and torn apart by driving them at full speed in 
opposite directions (for he was roused to fury by her 
husband's treachery to him), her brothers Sarus and 
Ammius came to avenge their sister's death and plunged 
a sword into Hermanaric's side. Enfeebled by this blow, 
he dragged out a miserable existence in bodily weakness. 

130 Balamber, king of the Huns, took advantage of his ill 
health to move an army into the country of the Ostro- 
goths, from whom the Visigoths had already separated 
because of some dispute. Meanwhile Hermanaric, who 
was unable to endure either the pain of his wound or the 
inroads of the Huns, died full of days at the great age of 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Valentinian I 
364-375 



The 

Visigoths 

settle in 

Thrace and 

MOESIA 

376 



Valens 
364-378 



Famine 



one hundred and ten years. The fact of his death enabled 
the Huns to prevail over those Goths v^ho, as we have 
said, dwelt in the east and were called Ostrogoths. 

The Divided Goths : Visigoths 

XXV The Visigoths, who were their other allies and 131 
inhabitants of the western country, were terrified as their 
kinsmen had been, and knew not how to plan for safety 
against the race of the Huns. After long deliberation by 
common consent they finally sent ambassadors into Ro- 
mania to the Emperor Valens, brother of Valentinian, 

the elder Emperor, to say that if he would give them part 
of Thrace or Moesia to keep, they would submit them- 
selves to his laws and commands. That he might have 
greater confidence in them, they promised to become 
Christians, if he would give them teachers who spoke 
their language. When Valens learned this, he gladly and 132 
promptly granted what he had himself intended to ask. 
He received the Getae into the region of Moesia and 
placed them there as a wall of defense for his kingdom 
against other tribes. And since at that time the Emperor 
Valens, who was infected with the Arian perfidy, had 
closed all the churches of our party, he sent as preachers 
to them those who favored his sect. They came and 
straightway filled a rude and ignorant people with the 
poison of their heresy. Thus the Emperor Valens made 
the Visigoths Arians rather than Christians. Moreover, 133 
from the love they bore them, they preached the gospel 
both to the Ostrogoths and to their kinsmen the Gepidae, 
teaching them to reverence this heresy, and they invited 
all people of their speech everywhere to attach themselves 
to this sect. They themselves, as we have said, crossed 
the Danube and settled Dacia Ripensis, Moesia and Thrace 
by permission of the Emperor. 

XXVI Soon famine and want came upon them, as 134 
often happens to a people not yet well settled in a coun- 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 89 

try. Their princes and the leaders who ruled them in 
place of kings, that is Fritigern, Alatheus and Safrac, 
began to lament the plight of their army and begged 
Lupicinus and Maximus, the Roman commanders, to 
open a market. But to what will not the ''cursed lust for 
gold" compel men to assent? The generals, swayed by 
avarice, sold them at a high price not only the flesh of 
sheep and oxen, but even the carcasses of dogs and un- 
clean animals, so that a slave would be bartered for a loaf 

135 of bread or ten pounds of meat. When their goods and 
chattels failed, the greedy trader demanded their sons in 
return for the necessities of life. And the parents con- 
sented even to this, in order to provide for the safety of 
their children, arguing that it was better to lose liberty 
than life; and indeed it is better than one be sold, if he 
will be mercifully fed, than that he should be kept free 
only to die. 

Now it came to pass in that troublous time that Lu- Treachery 
picmus, the Roman general, mvited Fritigern, a chief- Romans 

tain of the Goths, to a feast and, as the event revealed, 

136 devised a plot against him. But Fritigern, thinking 
no evil, came to the feast with a few followers. While 
he was dining in the praetorium he heard the dying 
cries of his ill-fated men, for, by order of the general, 
the soldiers were slaying his companions who were shut 
up in another part of the house. The loud cries of the 
dying fell upon ears already suspicious, and Fritigern at 
once perceived the treacherous trick. He drew his sword 
and with great courage dashed quickly from the banquet- 
ing-hall, rescued his men from their threatening doom 

137 and incited them to slay the Romans. Thus these valiant 
men gained the chance they had longed for — to be free to 
die in battle rather than to perish of hunger — and imme- 
diately took arms to kill the generals Lupicinus and 
Maximus. Thus that day put an end to the famine of the 
Goths and the safety of the Romans, for the Goths no 



90 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Emperor 
Valens 
defeated 
and slain 
A.D. 3/8 



Gratian 
367-3^3 

Hostile 

relations 

WITH Rome 

ENDED BY 
A TRUCE 

Theodosius 
379-395 



longer as strangers and pilgrims, but as citizens and lords, 
began to rule the inhabitants and to hold in their own 
right all the northern country as far as the Danube. 

When the Emperor Valens heard of this at Antioch, 138 
he made ready an army at once and set out for the coun- 
try of Thrace. Here a grievous battle took place and the 
Goths prevailed. The Emperor himself was wounded and 
fled to a farm near Hadrianople. The Goths, not know- 
ing that an emperor lay hidden in so poor a hut, set fire 
to it (as is customary in dealing with a cruel foe), and 
thus he was cremated in royal splendor. Plainly it was 
a direct judgment of God that he should be burned with 
fire by the very men whom he had perfidiously led astray 
when they sought the true faith, turning them aside from 
the flame of love into the fire of hell. From this time the 
Visigoths, in consequence of their glorious victory, pos- 
sessed Thrace and Dacia Ripensis as if it were their 
native land. 

XXVII Now in the place of Valens, his uncle, the 139 
Emperor Gratian established Theodosius the Spaniard in 
the Eastern Empire. Military discipline was soon re- 
stored to a high level, and the Goth, perceiving that the 
cowardice and sloth of former princes was ended, became 
afraid. For the Emperor was famed alike for his acute- 
ness and discretion. By stern commands and by gener- 
osity and kindness he encouraged a demoralized army to 
deeds of daring. But when the soldiers, who had ob- 140 
tained a better leader by the change, gained new confi- 
dence, they sought to attack the Goths and drive them 
from the borders of Thrace^ But as the Emperor Theo- 
dosius fell so sick at this time that his life was almost 
despaired of, the Goths were again inspired with courage. 
Dividing the Gothic army, Fritigern set out to plunder 
Thessaly, Epirus and Achaia, while Alatheus and Safrac 
with the rest of the troops made for Pannonia. Now the 141 
Emperor Gratian had at this time retreated from Rome to 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



91 



Gaul because of the invasions of the Vandals. When he 
learned that the Goths were acting with greater boldness 
because Theodosius was in despair of his life, he quickly 
gathered an army and came against them. Yet he put no 
trust in arms, but sought to conquer them by kindness and 
gifts. So he entered on a truce with them and made 
peace, giving them provisions. 

142 XXVIII When the Emperor Theodosius afterwards 
recovered and learned that the Emperor Gratian had 
made a compact between the Goths and the Romans, as 
he had himself desired, he was very well pleased and 
gave his assent. He gave gifts to King Athanaric, who 
had succeeded Fritigern, made an alliance with him and 
in the most gracious manner invited him to visit him in 

143 Constantinople. Athanaric very gladly consented and 
as he entered the royal city exclaimed in wonder, "Lo, 
now I see what I have often heard of with unbelieving 
ears," meaning the great and famous city. Turning his 
eyes hither and thither, he marvelled as he beheld the 
situation of the city, the coming and going of the ships, 
the splendid walls, and the people of divers nations gath- 
ered like a flood of waters streaming from different re- 
regions into one basin. So too, when he saw the army in 
array, he said "Truly the Emperor is a god on earth, and 
whoso raises a hand against him is guilty of his own 

144 blood." In the midst of his admiration and the enjoy- 
ment of even greater honors at the hand of the Emperor, 
he departed this life after the space of a few months. 
The Emperor had such affection for him that he honored 
Athanaric even more when he was dead than during his 
lifetime, for he not only gave him a worthy burial, but 

145 himself walked before the bier at the funeral. Now when 
Athanaric was dead, his whole army continued in the 
service of the Emperor Theodosius and submitted to the 
Roman rule, forming as it were one body with the impe- 
rial soldierv. The former service of the Allies under the 



Peace 
confirmed 

BY 

Theodosius 
380 



Death 

OF King 

Athanaric 

AT 

Constantinople 
381 



92 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Alaric I 
King 

OF THE 

Goths 
395-410 



Stilicho and 

Aurelian 

Consuls in 

400 



Description 

OF 

Ravenna 



Emperor Constantine was now renewed and they were 
again called Allies. And since the Emperor knew that 
they were faithful to him and his friends, he took from 
their number more than twenty thousand warriors to 
serve against the tyrant Eugenius who had slain Gratian 
and seized Gaul. After winning the victory over this 
usurper, he wreaked his vengeance upon him. 

XXIX But after Theodosius, the lover of peace and 146 
of the Gothic race, had passed from human cares, his 
sons began to ruin both empires by their luxurious living 
and to deprive their Allies, that is to say the Goths, of the 
customary gifts. The contempt of the Goths for the 
Romans soon increased, and for fear their valor would be 
destroyed by long peace, they appointed Alaric king over 
them. He was of famous stock, and his nobility was 
second only to that of the Amali, for he came from the 
family of the Balthi, who because of their daring valor 
had long ago received among their race the name Baltha, 147 
that is, The Bold. Now when this Alaric was made king, 
he took counsel with his men and persuaded them to seek 
a kingdom by their own exertions rather than serve others 
in idleness. In the consulship of Stilicho and Aurelian 
he raised an amiy and entered Italy, which seemed to be 
bare of defenders, and came through Pannonia and Sir- 
mium along the right side. Without meeting any resist- 
ance, he reached the bridge of the river Candidianus at 
the third milestone from the royal city of Ravenna. 

This city lies amid the streams of the Po between 148 
swamps and the sea, and is accessible only on one side. 
Its ancient inhabitants, as our ancestors relate, were 
called alveroC, that is, "Laudable." Situated in a corner 
of the Roman Empire above the Ionian Sea, it is hemmed 
in like an island by a flood of rushing waters. On the 149 
east it has the sea, and one who sails straight to it from 
the region of Corcyra and those parts of Hellas sweeps 
with his oars along the right hand coast, first touching 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



93 



150 



151 



152 



153 



Epirus, then Dalmatia, Libiirnia and Histria and at last 
the Venetian Isles. But on the west it has swamps 
through which a sort of door has been left by a very 
narrow entrance. To the north is an arm of the Po, 
called the Fossa Asconis. On the south likewise is the 
Po itself, which they call the King of the rivers of Italy ; 
and it has also the name Eridanus. This river was turned 
aside by the Emperor Augustus into a very broad canal 
which flows through the midst of the city with a seventh 
part of its stream, affording a pleasant harbor at its 
mouth. Men believed in ancient times, as Dio relates, 
that it would hold a fleet of two hundred and fifty vessels 
in its safe anchorage. Fabius says that this, which was 
once a harbor, now displays itself like a spacious garden 
full of trees; but from them hang not sails but apples. 
The city itself boasts of three names and is happily placed 
in its threefold location. I mean to say the first is called 
Ravenna and the most distant part Classis ; while midway 
between the city and the sea is Caesarea, full of luxury. 
The sand of the beach is fine and suited for riding. 

XXX But as I was saying, when the army of the 
Visigoths had come into the neighborhood of this city, 
they sent an embassy to the Emperor Honorius, who 
dwelt within. They said that if he would permit the 
Goths to settle peaceably in Italy, they would so live with 
the Roman people that men might believe them both to 
be of one race; but if not, whoever prevailed in war 
should drive out the other, and the victor should hence- 
forth rule unmolested. But the Emperor Honorius feared 
to make either promise. So he took counsel with his 
senate and considered how he might drive them from the 
Italian borders. He finally decided that Alaric and his 
race, if they were able to do so, should be allowed to 
seize for their own home the provinces farthest away, 
namely Gaul and Spain. For at this time he had almost 
lost them, and moreover they had been devasted by the 



Honorius 
393-423 



Honorius 

grants the 

Goths lands 

IN Gaul and 

Spain 



94 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Stilicho's 

treacherous 

ATTACK 
402 



Alaric I 

SACKS Rome 
A.D. 410 



invasion of Gaiseric, king of the Vandals. The grant 
was confirmed by an imperial rescript, and the Goths, 
consenting to the arrangement, set out for the country- 
given them. 

When they had gone away without doing any harm 154 
in Italy, Stilicho, the Patrician and father-in-law of 
the Emperor Honorius — for the Emperor had married 
both his daughters, Maria and Thermantia, in succes- 
sion, but God called both from this world in their vir- 
gin purity — this Stilicho, I say, treacherously hurried 
to Pollentia, a city in the Cottian Alps. There he fell 
upon the unsuspecting Goths in battle, to the ruin of all 
Italy and his own disgrace. When the Goths suddenly 155 
beheld him, at first they were terrified. Soon regaining 
their courage and arousing each other by brave shouting, 
as is their custom, they turned to flight the entire arm}^ 
of Stilicho and almost exterminated it. Then forsaking 
the journey they had undertaken, the Goths with hearts 
full of rage returned again to Liguria whence they 
had set out. When ' they had plundered and spoiled it, 
they also laid waste Aemilia, and then hastened toward 
the city of Rome along the Flaminian Way, which runs 
between Picenum and Tuscia, taking as booty what- 
ever they found on either hand. When they finally en- 156 
tered Rome, by Alaric's express command they merely 
sacked it and did not set the city on fire, as wild peoples 
usually do, nor did they permit serious damage to be done 
to the holy places. Thence they departed to bring like 
ruin upon Campania and Lucania, and then came to 
Bruttii. Here they remained a long time and planned to 
go to Sicily and thence to the countries of Africa. 

Now the land of the Bruttii is at the extreme southern 
bound of Italy , and a corner of it marks the beginning of 
the Apennine mountains. It stretches out like a tongue 
into the Adriatic Sea and separates it from the Tyrrhenian 
waters. It chanced to receive its name in ancient times 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



95 



157 from a Queen Bruttia. To this place came Alaric, king of 
the Visigoths, with the weahh of all Italy which he had 
taken as spoil, and from there, as we have said, he in- 
tended to cross over by way of Sicily to the quiet land of 
Africa. But since man is not free to do anything he 
wishes without the will of God, that dread strait sunk sev- 
eral of his ships and threw all into confusion. Alaric was 
cast down by his reverse and, while deliberating what he 
should do, was suddenly overtaken by an untimely death 

158 and departed from human cares. His people mourned for 
him with the utmost affection. Then turning from its 
course the river Busentus near the city of Consentia — for 
this stream flows with its wholesome waters from the foot 
of a mountain near that city — they led a band of captives 
into the midst of its bed to dig out a place for his grave. 
In the depths of this pit they buried Alaric, together with 
many treasures, and then turned the waters back into 
their channel. And that none might ever know the place, 
they put to death all the diggers. They bestowed the 
kingdom of the Visigoths on Athavulf his kinsman, a 
a man of imposing beauty and great spirit; for though not 
tall of stature, he was distinguished for beauty of face 
and form. 

159 XXXI When Athavulf became king, he returned 
again to Rome, and whatever had escaped the first sack 
his Goths stripped bare like locusts, not merely despoil- 
ing Italy of its private wealth, but even of its public 
resources. The Emperor Honorius was powerless to 
resist even when his sister Placidia, the daughter of the 
Emperor Theodosius by his second wife, was led away 

160 captive from the city. But Athavulf was attracted by her 
nobility, beauty and chaste purity, and so he took her to 
wife in lawful marriage at Forum Julii, a city of Aemilia. 
When the barbarians learned of this alliance, they were 
the more effectually terrified, since the Empire and the 

Goths now seemed to be made one. Then Athavulf set 



Death 

OF 

Alaric I 
A.D. 410 



Athavulf 
410-415 



Deeds of 
King Athavulf 



Marries 

Galla Placidia 

414 



96 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



King 

Segeric 

415 



King Valia 
415-419 



out for Gaul, leaving Honorius Augustus stripped of his 
wealth, to be sure, yet pleased at heart because he was 
now a sort of kinsman of his. Upon his arrival the 161 
neighboring tribes who had long made cruel raids into 
Gaul — Franks and Burgundians alike' — were terrified and 
began to keep within their own borders. Now the 
Vandals and the Alani, as we have said before, had been 
dwelling in both Pannonias by permission of the Roman 
Emperors. Yet fearing they would not be safe even here 
if the Goths should return, they crossed over into Gaul. 
But no long time after they had taken possession of Gaul 162 
they fled thence and shut themselves up in Spain, for they 
still remembered from the tales of their forefathers what 
ruin Geberich, king of the Goths, had long ago brought 
on their race, and how by his valor he had driven them 
from their native land. And thus it happened that Gaul 
lay open to Athavulf when he came. Now when the 163 
Goth had established his kingdom in Gaul, he began to 
grieve for the plight of the Spaniards and planned to 
save them from the attacks of the Vandals. So Athavulf 
left with a few faithful men at Barcelona his treasures and 
those who were unfit for war, and entered the interior of 
Spain. Here he fought frequently with the Vandals and, 
in the third year after he had subdued Gaul and Spain, fell 
pierced through the groin by the sword of Euervulf, a 
man whose short stature he had been wont to mock. After 
his death Segeric was appointed king, but he too was slain 
by the treachery of his own men and lost both his kingdom 
and his life even more quickly than Athavulf. 

XXXII Then Valia, the fourth from Alaric, was 164 
made king, and he was an exceeding stern and prudent 
man. The Emperor Honorius sent an army against him 
under Constantius, who was famed for his achievements 
in war and distinguished in many battles, for he feared 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



97 



that Valia would break the treaty long ago made with 
Athavulf and that, after driving out the neighboring 
tribes, he would again plot evil against the Empire. 
Moreover Honorius was eager to free his sister Placidia 
from the disgrace of servitude, and made an agreement 
with Constantius that if by peace or war or any means 
soever he could bring her back to the kingdom, he should 

165 have her in marriage. Pleased with this promise, Con- 
stantius set out for Spain with an armed force and in 
almost royal splendor. Valia, king of the Goths, met him 
at a pass in the Pyrenees with as great a force. Here- 
upon embassies were sent by both sides and it was decided 
to make peace on the following terms, namely that Valia 
should give up Placidia, the Emperor's sister, and should 
not refuse to aid the Roman Empire when occasion 
demanded. 

Now at that time a certain Constantine usurped impe- 
rial power in Gaul and appointed as Caesar his son Con- 
stans, who was formerly a monk. But when he had held 
for a short time the Empire he had seized, he was himself 
slain at Arelate and his son at Vienne. Jovinus and 
Sebastian succeeded them with equal presumption and 
thought they might seize the imperial power; but they 
perished by a like fate. 

166 Now in the twelfth year of Valia's reign the Huns 
were driven out of Pannonia by the Romans and Goths, 
almost fifty years after they had taken possession of it. 
Then Valia found that the Vandals had come forth with 
bold audacity from the interior of Galicia, whither Atha- 
vulf had long ago driven them, and were devastating and 
plundering everywhere in his own territories, namely in 
the land of Spain. So he made no delay but moved his 
army against them at once, at about the time when Hier- 
ius and Ardabures had become consuls. 

167 XXXni But Gaiseric, king of the Vandals, had al- 
ready been invited into Africa by Boniface, who had 



Constantine III 

407-411 

Constans 

407-411 



Jovinus 
411-413 

Sebastian 
412 

Valia 
moves against 

THE 

Vandals 

427 



98 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



The Vandals 

AND 

Gaiseric their 

King 

4^7-477 



The six kings 

of the Vandals 

427-534 



fallen into a dispute with the Emperor Valentinian and 
was able to obtain revenge only by injuring- the Empire. 
So he invited them urgently and brought them across the 
narrow strait known as the Strait of Gades, scarcely seven 
miles wide, which divides Africa from Spain and unites 
the mouth of the Tyrrhenian Sea with the waters of 
Ocean. Gaiseric, still famous in the City for the disaster 168 
of the Romans, was a man of moderate height and lame 
in consequence of a fall from his horse. He was a man 
of deep thought and few words, holding luxury in dis- 
dain, furious in his anger, greedy for gain, shrewd in 
winning over the barbarians and skilled in sowing the 
seeds of dissension to arouse enmity. Such was he who, 169 
as we have said, came at the solicitous invitation of Boni- 
face to the country of Africa. There he reigned for a 
long time, receiving authority, as they say, from God 
Himself. Before his death he summoned the band of his 
sons and ordained that there should be no strife among 
them because of desire for the kingdom, but that each 
should reign in his own rank and order as he survived 
the others; that is, the next younger should succeed his 
elder brother, and he in turn should be followed by his 
junior. By giving heed to this command they ruled their 
kingdom in happiness for the space of many years and 
were not disgraced by civil war, as is usual among other 
nations; one after the other receiving the kingdom and 
ruling the people in peace. 

Now this is their order of succession: first, Gaiseric 170 
who was the father and. lord, next Huneric, the third 
Gunthamund, the fourth Thrasamund, and the fifth 
Ilderich. He was driven from his throne and slain 
by Gelimer, who destroyed his race by disregarding 
his ancestor's advice and setting up a tyranny. But 171 
what he had done did not remain unpunished, for soon 
the vengeance of the Emperor Justinian was mani- 



fested 



agamst 



him. With his whole family and that 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



99 



wealth over which he gloated like a robber, he was taken 
to Constantinople by that most renowned warrior Beli- 
sarius, Master of the Soldiery of the East, Ex-Consul 
Ordinary and Patrician. Here he afforded a great spec- 
tacle to the people in the Circus. His repentance, when 
he beheld himself cast down from his royal state, came 
too late. He died as a mere subject and in retirement, 
though he had formerly been unwilling to submit to pri- 

172 vate life. Thus after a century Africa, which in the 
division of the earth's surface is regarded as the third 
part of the world, was delivered from the yoke of the 
Vandals and brought back to the liberty of the Roman 
Empire. The country which the hand of the heathen had 
long ago cut off from the body of the Roman Empire, 
by reason of the cowardice of emperors and the treachery 
of generals, was now restored by a wise prince and a 
faithful leader and to-day is happily flourishing. And 
though, even after this, it had to deplore the misery of 
civil war and the treachery of the Moors, yet the triumph 
of the Emperor Justinian, vouchsafed him by God, 
brought to a peaceful conclusion what he had begun. But 
why need we speak of what the subject does not require? 
Let us return to our theme. 

173 Now Valia, king of the Goths, and his army fought so 
fiercely against the Vandals that he would have pursued 
them even into Africa, had not such a misfortune recalled 
him as befell Alaric when he was setting out for Africa. 
So when he had won great fame in Spain, he returned 
after a bloodless victory to Tolosa, turning over to the 
Roman Empire, as he had promised, a number of prov- 
inces which he had rid of his foes. A long time after this 

174 he was seized by sickness and departed this life. Just at 
that time Beremud, the son of Thorismud, whom we have 
mentioned above in the genealogy of the family of the 
Amali, departed with his son Veteric from the Ostro- 
goths, who still submitted to the oppression of the Huns 



Kingdom 

OF THE 

Vandals 

made subjec 

TO Rome 



100 



TORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Migration 
OF THE Amali 

TO THE 

Visigoths 



Theodorid I 
419-451 



Consulship of 

Theodosius 

439 



'First breach 

between 

Theodorid I 

AND THE 

Romans 



in the land of Scythia, and came to the kingdom of the 
Visigoths. Well aware of his valor and noble birth, he 
believed that the kingdom would be the more readily 
bestowed upon him by his kinsmen, inasmuch as he was 
known to be the heir of many kings. And who would 
hesitate to choose one of the Amali, if there were an empty 
throne? But he was not himself eager to make known 
who he was, and so upon the death of Valia the Visi- 
goths made Theodorid his successor. Beremud came to 175 
him and, with the strength of mind for which he was 
noted, concealed his noble birth by prudent silence, for he 
knew that those of royal lineage are always distrusted by 
kings. So he suffered himself to remain unknown, that 
he might not bring the established order into confusion. 
King Theodorid received him and his son with special 
honor and made him partner in his counsels and a com- 
panion at his board ; not for his noble birth, which he 
knew not, but for his brave spirit and strong mind, which 
Beremud could not conceal. 

XXXIV And what more? Valia (to repeat what we 176 
have said) had but little success against the Gauls, but 
when he died the more fortunate and prosperous Theo- 
dorid succeeded to the throne. He was a man of the 
greatest moderation and notable for vigor of mind and 
body. In the consulship of Theodosius and Festus the 
Romans broke the truce and took up arms against him in 
Gaul, with the Huns as their auxiliaries. For a band of 
the Gallic Allies, led by Count Gaina, had aroused the 
Romans by throwing Constantinople into a panic. Now 
at that time the Patrician Aetius was in command of the 
army. He was of the bravest Moesian stock, the son of 
Gaudentius and born in the city of Durostorum. He was a 
man fitted to endure the toils of war, born expressly to 
serve the Roman state; and by inflicting crushing defeats 
he had compelled the proud Suavi and barbarous Franks 
to submit to Roman sway. So then, with the Huns as 177 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



lOI 



allies under their leader Litorius, 
moved in array against the Goths. 



the Roman army 
When the battle 



lines of both sides had been standing for a 



long time 



opposite each other, both being brave and neither side the 
weaker, they struck a truce and returned to their ancient 
alliance. And after the treaty had been confinned by 
both and an honest peace was established, they both 
withdrew. 

178 During this peace Attila was lord over all the Huns 
and almost the sole earthly ruler of all the tribes of 
Scythia; a man marvellous for his glorious fame among 
all nations. The historian Priscus, who was sent to him 
on an embassy by the younger Theodosius, says this 
among other things : "Crossing mighty rivers — namely, 
the Tisia and Tibisia and Dricca — we came to the place 
where long ago Vidigoia, bravest of the Goths, perished 
by the guile of the Sarmatians. At no great distance 
from that place we arrived at the village where King 
Attila was dwelling, a village, I say, like a great city, 
in which we found wooden walls made of smooth-shining 
boards, whose joints so counterfeited solidity that the 
union of the boards could scarcely be distinguished by 

179 close scrutiny. There you might see dining halls of 
large extent and porticoes planned with great beauty, 
while the courtyard was bounded by so vast a circuit that 
its very size showed it was the royal palace." This was 
the abode of Attila, the king of all the barbarian world; 
and he preferred this as a dwelling to the cities he 
captured. 

180 XXXV Now this Attila was the son of Mundiuch, 
and his brothers were Octar and Ruas who are said to 
have ruled before Attila, though not over quite so many 
tribes as he. After their death he succeeded to the throne 
of the Huns, together with his brother Bleda. In order 
that he might first be equal to the expedition he was 
preparing, he sought to increase his strength by murder. 



The Truce 
439 



Embassy to 

Attila 

448 



Character 

OF Attila 

King of the 

Huns 



I02 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Attila and Bleda Thiis he proceeded from the destruction of his own kin- 

433-445'' ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ menace of all others. But though he increased i8i 

his power by this shameful means, yet by the balance of 
justice he received the hideous consequences of his own 
.,.., , cruelty. Now when his brother Bleda, who ruled over 

king a great part of the Huns, had been slain by his treachery, 

445-453 Attila united all the people under his own rule. Gath- 

ering also a host of the other tribes which he then held 
under his sway, he sought to subdue the foremost nations 
of the world — the Romans and the Visigoths. His army 182 
is said to have numbered five hundred thousand men. 
He was a man born into the world to shake the nations, 
the scourge of all lands, who in some way terrified all 
mankind by the dreadful rumors noised abroad concern- 
ing him. He w^as haughty in his walk, rolling his eyes 
hither and thither, so that the power of his proud spirit 
appeared in the movement of his body. He was indeed 
a lover of war, yet restrained in action, mighty in coun- 
sel, gracious to suppliants and lenient to those who were 
once received into his protection. He was short of stat- 
ure, with a broad chest and a large head; his eyes were 
small, his beard thin and sprinkled with gray ; and he had 
a flat nose and a swarthy complexion, showing the evi- 
dences of his origin. And though his temper was such 183 
that he always had great self-confidence, yet his assur- 
ance was increased by finding the sword of Mars, always 
esteemed sacred among the kings of the Scythians. The 
historian Priscus says it was discovered under the fol- 
lowing circumstances : "When a certain shepherd beheld 
one heifer of his flock limping and could find no cause 
for this wound, he anxiously followed the trail of blood 
and at length came to a sword it had unwittingly trampled 
while nibbling the grass. He dug it up and took it 
straight to Attila. He rejoiced at this gift and, being 
ambitious, thought he had been appointed ruler of the 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



103 



whole world, and that through the sword of Mars supre- 
macy in all wars was assured to him." 

184 XXXVI Now when Gaiseric, king of the Vandals, 
whom we mentioned shortly before, learned that his mind 
was bent on the devastation of the world, he incited 
Attila by many gifts to make war on the Visigoths, for 
he was afraid that Theodorid, king of the Visigoths, 
would avenge the injury done to his daughter. She had 
been joined in wedlock with Huneric, the son of Gaiseric, 
and at first was happy in this union. But afterwards he 
was cruel even to his own children, and because of the 
mere suspicion that she was attempting to poison him, he 
cut off her nose and mutilated her ears. He sent her 
back to her father in Gaul thus despoiled of her natural 
charms. So the wretched girl presented a pitiable aspect 
ever after, and the cruelty which would stir even strang- 
ers still more surely incited her father to vengeance. 

185 Attila, therefore, in his efforts to bring about the wars 
long ago instigated by the bribe of Gaiseric, sent ambas- 
sadors into Italy to the Emperor Valentinian to sow 
strife between the Goths and the Romans, thinking to 
shatter by civil discord those whom he could not crush 
in battle. He declared that he was in no way violating 
his friendly relations with the Empire, but that he had a 
quarrel with Theodorid, king of the Visigoths. As he 
wished to be kindly received, he filled the rest of the 
letter with the usual flattering salutations, striving to win 

186 credence for his falsehood. In like manner he despatched 
a message to Theodorid, king of the Visigoths, urging 
him to break his alliance with the Romans and reminding 
him of the battles to which they had recently provoked 
him. Beneath his great ferocity he was a subtle man, 
and fought with craft before he made war. 

Then the Emperor Valentinian sent an embassy to the 
Visigoths and their king Theodorid, with this message: 

187 "Bravest of nations, it is the part of prudence for us to 



Gaiseric 

INCITES 
HIM TO WAR 
WITH THE GOTE 



104 



JORDANKS: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



League of 

THE 

Visigoths 
AND Romans 

AGAINST 

Attila 
451 



The 

forces of the 
Allies 



unite against the lord of the earth who wishes to enslave 
the whole world; who requires no just cause for battle, 
but supposes whatever he does is right. He measures 
his ambition by his might. License satisfies his pride. 
Despising law and right, he shows himself an enemy to 
Nature herself. And thus he, who clearly is the common 
foe of each, deserves the hatred of all. Pray remember — i88 
what you surely cannot forget — that the Huns do not 
overthrow nations by means of war, where there is an 
equal chance, but assail them by treachery, which is a 
greater cause for anxiety. To say nothing about our- 
selves, can you suffer such insolence to go unpunished? 
Since you are mighty in arms, give heed to your own 
danger and join hands with us in common. Bear aid 
also to the Empire, of which you hold a part. H you 
would learn how such an alliance should be sought and 
welcomed by us, look into the plans of the foe." 

By these and like arguments the ambassadors of Va- 189 
lentinian prevailed upon King Theodorid. He answered 
them, saying: "Romans, you have attained your desire; 
you have made Attila our foe also. We will pursue 
him wherever he summons us, and though he is puffed 
up by his victories over divers races, yet the Goths know 
how to fight this haughty foe. I call no war dangerous 
save one whose cause is weak; for he fears no ill on 
whom Majesty has smiled." The nobles shouted assent 190 
to the reply and the multitude gladly followed. All were 
fierce for battle and longed to meet the Huns, their foe. 
And so a countless host was led forth by Theodorid, king 
of the Visigoths, who sent home four of his sons, namely 
Friderich and Eurich, Retemer and Himnerith, taking 
with him only the two elder sons, Thorismud and Theo- 
dorid, as partners of his toil. O brave array, sure de- 
fense and sweet comradeship, having the aid of those who 
delight to share in the same dangers ! 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY IO5 

191 On the side of the Romans stood the Patrician Aetius, 
on whom at that time the whole Empire of the West de- 
pended; a man of such wisdom that he had assembled 
warriors from everywhere to meet them on equal terms. 
Now these were his auxiliaries : Franks, Sarmatians 
Armoricians, Liticians, Burgundians, Saxons, Riparians, 
Olibriones (once Roman soldiers and now the flower of 
the allied forces), and some other Celtic or German tribes. 

192 And so they met in the Catalaunian Plains, which are 
also called Mauriacian, extending in length one hundred 
leuva, as the Gauls express it, and seventy in width. Now 
a Gallic leuva measures a distance of fifteen hundred 
paces. That portion of the earth accordingly became 
the threshing-floor of countless races. The two hosts 
bravely joined battle. Nothing was done under cover, 

193 but they contended in open fight. What just cause can 
be found for the encounter of so many nations, or what 
hatred inspired them all to take arms against each other? 
It is proof that the human race lives for its kings, for it is 
at the mad impulse of one mind a slaughter of nations 
takes place, and at the whim of a haughty ruler that 
which nature has taken ages to produce perishes in a 
moment. 

194 XXXVII But before we set forth the order of the 
battle itself, it seems needful to relate what had already 
happened in the course of the campaign, for it was not 
only a famous struggle but one that was complicated and 
confused. Well then, Sangiban, king of the Alani, smit- 
ten with fear of what might come to pass, had promised 
to surrender to Attila, and to give into his keeping Aure- 

195 liani, a city of Gaul wherein he then dwelt. When Theo- 
dorid and Aetius learned of this, they cast up great earth- 
works around that city before Attila's arrival and kept 
watch over the suspected Sangiban, placing him with his 
tribe in the midst of their auxiliaries. Then Attila, king 
of the Huns, was taken aback by this event and lost confi- 



The 

BEGINNING 

OF THE 

STRIFE 



io6 



JOl^DANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Battle 

OF THE 

Catalaunian 

Plains 

A.D. 451 



dence in his own troops, so that he feared to l)egin the 
conflict. While he was meditating on flight — a greater 
calamity than death itself — he decided to inquire into the 
future through soothsayers. So, as was their custom, 196 
they examined the entrails of cattle and certain streaks in 
bones that had been scraped, and foretold disaster to the 
Huns. Yet as a slight consolation they prophesied that 
the chief commander of the foe they were to meet should 
fall and mar by his death the rest of the victory and the 
triumph. Now Attila deemed the death of Aetius a thing 
to be desired even at the cost of his own life, for Aetius 
stood in the way of his plans. So although he was dis- 
turbed by this prophecy, yet inasmuch as he was a man 
who sought counsel of omens in all warfare, he began 
the battle with anxious heart at about the ninth hour of 
the day, in order that the impending darkness might come 
to his aid if the outcome should be disastrous. 

XXXVIII The armies met, as we have said, in the 197 
Catalaunian Plains. The battle field was a plain rising 
by a sharp slope to a ridge, which both armies sought to 
gain; for advantage of position is a great help. The 
Huns with their forces seized the right side, the Romians, 
the Visigoths and their allies the left, and then began a 
struggle for the yet untaken crest. Now Theodorid with 
the Visigoths held the right wing and Aetius with the 
Romans the left. They placed in the centre Sangiban 
(who, as said before, was in command of the Alani), 
thus contriving with military caution to surround by a 
host of faithful troops the man in whose loyalty they had 
little confidence. For one who has difficulties placed in 
the way of his flight readily submits to the necessity of 
fighting. On the other side, however, the battle hne of 198 
the Huns was so arranged that Attila and his bravest 
followers were stationed in the centre. In arranging 
them thus the king had chiefly his own safety in view, 
since by his position in the very midst of his race he 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



107 



would be kept out of the way of threatening danger. 
The innumerable peoples of divers tribes, which he had 

199 subjected to his sway, formed the wings. Amid them 
was conspicuous the army of the Ostrogoths under the 
leadership of the brothers Valamir, Thiudimer and Vidi- 
mer, nobler even than the king they served, for the might 
of the family of the Amali rendered them glorious. The 
renowned king of the Gepidae, Ardaric, was there also 
with a countless host, and because of his great loyalty to 
Attila, he shared his plans. For Attila, comparing them 
in his wisdom, prized him and Valamir, king of the Ostro- 

200 goths, above all the other chieftains. Valamir was a 
good keeper of secrets, bland of speech and skilled in 
wiles, and Ardaric, as we have said, was famed for his 
loyalty and wisdom. Attila might well feel sure that 
they would fight against the Visigoths, their kinsmen. 
Now the rest of the crowd of kings (if we may call them 
so) and the leaders of various nations hung upon Attila's 
nod like slaves, and when he gave a sign even by a glance, 
without a murmur each stood forth in fear and tremb- 

201 ling, or at all events did as he was bid. Attila alone was 
king of all kings over all and concerned for all. 

So then the struggle began for the advantage of posi- 
tion we have mentioned. Attila sent his men to take the 
summit of the mountain, but was outstripped by Thoris- 
mud and Aetius, who in their effort to gain the top of the 
hill reached higher ground and through this advantage 
of position easily routed the Huns as they came up. 

202 XXXIX Now when Attila saw his army was thrown 
into confusion by this event, he thought it best to encour- 
age them by an extemporaneous address on this wise: 
"Here you stand, after conquering mighty nations and 
subduing the world. I therefore think it foolish for me 
to goad you with words, as though you were men who 
had not been proved in action. Let a new leader or an 

203 untried army resort to that. It is not right for me to 



Attila 
addresses 

HIS MEN 



I08 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

say anything common, nor ought you to hsten. For what 
is war but your usual custom ? Or what is sweeter for a 
brave man than to seek revenge with his own hand? It is 
a right of nature to ghit the soul with vengeance. 
Let us then attack the foe eagerly ; for they are ever the 204 
bolder who make the attack. Despise this union of dis- 
cordant races! To defend oneself by alliance is proof of 
cowardice. See, even before our attack they are smitten 
with terror. They seek the heights, they seize the hills 
and, repenting too late, clamor for protection against 
battle in the open fields. You know how slight a matter 
the Roman attack is. While they are still gathering in 
order and forming in one line with locked shields, they 
are checked, I will not say by the first wound, but even 
by the dust of battle. Then on to the fray with stout 205 
hearts, as is your wont. Despise their battle line. Attack 
the Alani, smite the Visigoths! Seek swift victory in 
that spot where the battle rages. For when the sinews 
are cut the limbs soon relax, nor can a body stand when 
you have taken away the bones. Let your courage rise 
and your own fury burst forth! Now show your cun- 
ning, Huns, now your deeds of arms ! Let the wounded 
exact in return the death of his foe; let the unwounded 
revel in slaughter of the enemy. No spear shall harm 206 
those who are sure to live ; and those who are sure to die 
Fate overtakes even in peace. And finally, why should 
Fortune have made the Huns victorious over so many 
nations, unless it were to prepare them for the joy of 
this conflict. Who was it revealed to our sires- the 
path through the Maeotian swamp, for so many ages a 
closed secret? Who, moreover, made armed men yield 
to you, when you were as yet unarmed ? Even a mass of 
federated nations could not endure the sight of the Huns. 
I am not deceived in the issue; here is the field so many 
victories have promised us. I shall hurl the first spear 
at the foe. If any can stand at rest while Attila fights, 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



109 



he is a dead man." Inflamed by these words, they all 
dashed into battle. 

207 XL And although the situation was itself fearful, yet 
the presence of their king dispelled anxiety and hesita- 
tion. Hand to hand they clashed in battle, and the fight 
grew fierce, confused, monstrous, unrelenting — a fight 
whose like no ancient time has ever recorded. There such 
deeds were done that a brave man who missed this mar- 
vellous spectacle could not hope to see anything so won- 

208 derful all his life long. For, if we may believe our 
elders, a brook flowing between low banks through the 
plain was greatly increased by blood from the wounds 
of the slain. It was not flooded by showers, as brooks 
usually rise, but was swollen by a strange stream and 
turned into a torrent by the increase of blood. Those 
whose wounds drove them to slake their parching thirst 
drank water mingled with gore. In their wretched plight 
they were forced to drink what they thought was the 
blood they';had pd^ured from their own wounds. 

209 Here King- Theodorid, while riding by to encourage 
his army, w^rS thrown from his horse and trampled under 
foot by his own, men, thus ending his days at a ripe old 
age. But others say he was slain by the spear of Andag 
of the host of the Ostrogoths, who were then under the 
sway of Attila. ' This was what the soothsayers had told 
to Attila in prophecy, though he understood it of Aetius. 

210 Then the Visigoths, separating from the Alani, fell upon 
the horde of the Huns and nearly slew Attila. But he 
prudently took flight and straightway shut himself and 
his companions within the barriers of the camp, which 
he had fortified with wagons. A frail defense indeed ; 
yet there they sought refuge for their lives, whom but a 
little while while before no walls of earth could withstand. 

211 But Thorismud, the son of King Theodorid, who with 
Aetius had §eized the hill and repulsed the enemy from 
the higher ground, came unwittingly to the wagons of 



Fierce 
Fighting 



Death of 
King Theodorid 
in the battle 



no JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

the enemy in the darkness of night, thinking he had 
reached his own Hnes. As he was fighting bravely, some- 
one wounded him in the head and dragged him from his 
horse. Then he was rescued by the watchful care of his 
followers and withdrew from the fierce conflict. Aetius 212 
also became separated from his men in the confusion of 
night and wandered about in the midst of the enemy. 
Fearing disaster had happened, he went about in search 
of the Goths. At last he reached the camp of his allies 
and passed the remainder of the night in the protection 
of their shields. 

At dawn on the following day, when the R'omans 
saw the fields were piled high with bodies and that 
the Huns did not venture forth, they thought the vic- 
tory was theirs, but knew that Attila would not flee from 
the battle unless overwhelmed by a great disaster. Yet 
he did nothing cowardly, like one that is overcome, but 
with clash of arms sounded the trumpets and threat- 
ened an attack. He was like a lion pierced by hunting 
spears, who paces to and fro before the mouth of his 
den and dares not spring, but ceases not to terrify the 
neighborhood by his roaring. Even so this warlike king 
at bay terrified his conquerors. Therefore the Goths and 213 
Romans assembled and considered what to do with the 
vanquished Attila. They determined to wear him out by 
a siege, because he had no supply of provisions and was 
hindered from approaching by a shower of arrows from 
the bowmen placed within the confines of the Roman 
camp. But it was said that the king remained supremely 
brave even in this extremity and had heaped up a funeral 
pyre of horse saddles, so that if the enemy should at- 
tack him, he was determined to cast himself into the 
flames, that none might have the joy of wounding him 
and that the lord of so many races might not fall into 
the hands of his foes. 

XLI Now during these delays in the siege, the Visi- 214 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



III 



goths sought their king and the king's sons their father, 
wondering at his absence when success had been attained. 
When, after a long search, they found him where the 
dead lay thickest, as happens with brave men, they hon- 
ored him with songs and bore him away in the sight of 
the enemy. You might have seen bands of Goths shout- 
ing with dissonant cries and paying honor to the dead 
while the battle still raged. Tears were shed, but such 
as they were accustomed to devote to brave men. It was 
death indeed, but the Huns are witness that it was a 
glorious one. It was a death whereby one might well 
suppose the pride of the enemy would be lowered, when 
they beheld the body of so great a king borne forth with 

215 fitting honors. And so the Goths, still continuing the 
rites due to Theodorid, bore forth the royal majesty with 
sounding arms, and valiant Thorismud, as befitted a son, 
honored the glorious spirit of his dear father by follow- 
ing his remains. 

When this was done, Thorismud was eager to take 
vengeance for his father's death on the remaining Huns, 
being moved to this both by the pain of bereavement and 
the impulse of that valor for which he was noted. Yet 
he consulted with the Patrician Aetius (for he was an 
older man and of more mature wisdom) with regard to 

216 what he ought to do next. But Aetius feared that if the 
Huns were totally destroyed by the Goths, the Roman 
Empire would be overwhelmed, and urgently advised him 
to return to his own dominions to take up the rule which 
his father had left. Otherwise his brothers might seize 
their father's possessions and obtain the power over the 
Visigoths. In this case Thorismud would have to fight 
fiercely and, what is worse, disastrously with his own 
countrymen. Thorismud accepted the advice without 
perceiving its double meaning, but followed it with an 
eye toward his own advantage. So he left the Huns and 

217 returned to Gaul. Thus while human frailty rushes into 



Results 

OF 
THE BATTLE 



112 



JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Thorismud 

451-453 



The Siege 

AND Fall 

OF Aquileia 

452 



suspicion, it often loses an opportunity of doing great 
things. 

In this most famous war of the bravest tribes, one hun- 
dred and sixty-five thousand are said to have been slain on 
both sides, leaving out of account fifteen thousand of the 
Gepidae and Franks, who met each other the night before 
the general engagement and fell by wounds mutually re- 
ceived, the Franks fighting for the Romans and the Gepi- 
dae for the Huns. 

Now when Attila learned of the retreat of the Goths, 
he thought it a ruse of the enemy — for so men are wont 
to believe when the unexpected happens — and remained 
for some time in his camp. But when a long silence fol- 
lowed the absence of the foe, the spirit of the mighty 
king was aroused to the thought of victory and the antici- 
pation of pleasure, and his mind turned to the old oracles 
of his destiny. 

Thorismud, however, after the death of his father on 
the Catalaunian Plains where he had fought, advanced in 
royal state and entered Tolosa. Here although the throng 
of his brothers and brave companions were still rejoicing 
over the victory he yet began to rule so mildly that no one 
strove with him for the succession to the kingdom. 

XLH But Attila took occasion from the withdrawal 
of the Visigoths, observing what he had often desired' — 
that his enemies were divided. At length feeling secure, 
he moved forward his array to attack the Romans. As 
his first move he besieged the city of Aquileia, the me- 
tropolis of Venetia, which is situated on a point or tongue 
of land by the Adriatic Sea. On the eastern side its walls 
are washed by the river Natissa, flowing from Mount 
Piccis/T The siege was long and fierce, but of no avail, 
since the bravest soldiers of the Romans withstood him 
from within. At last his army was discontented and 
eager to withdraw . Attila chanced to be walking around 
the walls, considering whether to break camp or delay 



218 



219 



220 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY II3 

longer, and noticed that the white birds, namely, the 
storks, who build their nests in the gables of houses^ere 
bearing their young from the city and, contrary to their 

221 custom, were carrying them out into the countryT? Being 
a shrewd observer of events, he understood this and said 
to his soldiers : "You see the birds foresee the future. 
They are leaving the city sure to perish and are forsaking 
strongholds doomed to fall by reason of imminent peril^ 
Do not think this a meaningless or uncertain sign ; f eajr, 
arising from the things they foresee, has_£hanged their 
custom." Why say more? 1 He inflamed the hearts of 
his soldiers to attack Aquileia again. 1 Constructing bat- 
tering rams and bringing to bear all manner of engines 
of war,lthey quickly forced their way into the city, laid it 
waste, divided the spoil and so cruelly devastated it as 

222 scarcely to leave a trace to be seen. ^Then growing bolder 

and still thirsting for Roman blood, the Huns raged 
madly through the remaining cities of the Veneti. jThey 
also laid waste Mediolanum, the metropolis of Liguria, 
once an imperial city, and gave over Ticinum to a like 
fate. Then they destroyed the neighboring country in 
their frenzy and demolished almost the whole of Italy. 

Attila's mind had been bent on going to Rome. But popg leo 
his followers, as the historian Priscus relates, took him intervenes 

TO SAVE 

away, not out of regard for the city to which they were Rome 

hostile, but because they remembered the case of Alaric, ^^^ 

the former king of the Visigoths. They distrusted the 
good fortune of their own king, inasmuch as Alaric did 
not live long after the sack of Rome, but straightway 

223 departed this life. Therefore while Attila's spirit was 
wavering in doubt between going and not going, and he 
still lingered to ponder the matter, an embassy came to 
him from Rome to seek peace. Pope Leo himself came 
to meet him in the Ambuleian district of the Veneti at the 
well-travelled ford of the river Mincius. Then Attila 
quickly put .aside his usual fury, turned back on the way 



114 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Marcian 
4SO-457 



Attila 
defeated 

BY 

Thorismud 



he had advanced from beyond the Danube and departed 
with the promise of peace. But above all he declared and 
avowed with threats that he would bring worse things 
upon Italy, unless they sent him Honoria, the sister of the 
Emperor Valentinian and daughter of Augusta Placidia, 
with her due share of the royal wealth. For it was said 224 
that Honoria, although bound to chastity for the honor 
of the imperial court and kept in constraint by command 
of her brother, had secretly despatched a eunuch to sum- 
mon Attila that she might have his protection against her 
brother's power; a shameful thing, indeed, to get license 
for her passion at the cost of the public weal."^ 

XLIII So Attila returned to his own country, seem- 225 
ing to regret the peace and to be vexed at the cessation of 
war. For he sent ambassadors to Marcian, Emperor of 
the East, threatening to devastate the provinces, because 
that which had been promised him by Theodosius, a for- 
mer emperor, was in no wise performed, and saying that 
he would show himself more cruel to his foes than ever. 
But as he was shrewd and crafty, he threatened in one 
direction and moved his army in another; for in the 
midst of these preparations he turned his face towards the 
Visigoths who had yet to feel his vengeance. But here 226 
he had not the same success as against the Romans. 
Hastening back by a dififerent way than before, he de- 
cided to reduce to his sway that part of the Alani which 
was settled across the river Loire, in order that by attack- 
ing them, and thus changing the aspect of the war, he 
might become a more terrible menace to the Visigoths. 
Accordingly he started from the provinces of Dacia and 
Pannonia, where the Huns were then dwelling with vari- 
ous subject peoples, and moved his array against the 
Alani. But Thorismud, king of the Visigoths, with like 227 
quickness of thought perceived Attila's trick. By forced 
marches he came to the Alani before him, and was well 
prepared to check the advance of Attila when he came 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



115 



after him. They joined battle in ahnost the same way as 
before at the Catalatmian Plains, and Thorismud dashed 
his hopes of victory, for he routed him and drove him 
from the land without a triumph, compelling him to flee 
to his own country. Thus while Attila, the famous leader 
and lord of many victories, sought to blot out the fame 
of his destroyer and in this way to annul what he had 
suffered at the hands of the Visigoths, he met a second 

228 defeat and retreated ingloriously. Now after the bands 
of the Huns had been repulsed by the Alani, without any 
hurt to his own men, Thorismud departed for Tolosa. 
There he established a settled peace for his people and in 
the third year of his reign fell sick. While letting blood 
from a vein, he was betrayed to his death by Ascalc, a 
client, who told his foes that his weapons were out of 
reach. Yet grasping a foot-stool in the one hand he had 
free, he became the avenger of his own blood by slaying 
several of those that were lying in wait for him. 

229 XLIV After his death, his brother Theodorid suc- 
ceeded to the kingdom of the Visigoths and soon found 
that Riciarius his kinsman, the king of the Suavi, was 
hostile to him. For Riciarius, presuming on his relation- 
ship to Theodorid, believed that he might seize almost the 
whole of Spain, thinking the disturbed beginning of 
Theodorid's reign made the time opportune for this trick. 

230 The Suavi formerly occupied as their country Galicia and 
Lusitania, which extend on the right side of Spain along 
the shore of Ocean. To the east is Austrogonia, to the 
west, on a promontory, is the sacred Monument of the 
Roman general Scipio, to the north Ocean, and to the 
south Lusitania and the Tagus river, which mingles 
golden grains in its sands and thus carries wealth in its 
worthless mud. So then Riciarius, king of the Suavi, set 

231 forth and strove to seize the whole of Spain. Theodorid, 
his kinsman, a man of moderation, sent ambassadors to 
him and told him quietly that he must not only withdraw 



The Reign 

OF King 

Theodorid I] 

453-466 



Il6 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

from the territories that were not his own, but further- 
more that he should not presume to make such an attempt, 
as he was becoming hated - for his ambition. But with 
arrogant spirit he repHed : "If you murmur here and 
find fault with my coming, I shall come to Tolosa where 
you dwell. Resist me there, if you can." When he heard 
this, Theodorid was angry and, making a compact with 
all the other tribes, moved his array against the Suavi, 
He had as his close allies Gundiuch and Hilperic, kings 
?h"uibfus *^^ ^^^ Burgundians. They came to battle near the river 232 
456 Ulbius, which flows between Asturica and Hiberia, and 

in the engagement Theodorid with the Visigoths, who 
fought for the right, came off victorious, overthrowing 
the entire tribe of the Suavi and almost exterminating 
them. Their king Riciarius fled from the dread foe and 
embarked upon a ship. But he was beaten back by an- 
other foe, the adverse wind of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and 
so fell into the hands of the Visigoths. Thus though 
he changed from sea to land, the wretched man did not 
avert his death. 

When Theodorid had become the victor, he spared the 233 
conquered and did not suffer the rage of conflict to con- 
tinue, but placed over the Suavi whom he had conquered 
one of his own retainers, named Agrivulf. But Agrivulf 
soon treacherously changed his mind, through the per- 
suasion of the Suavi, and failed to fulfil his duty. For 
he was quite puffed up with tyrannical pride, believing 
he had obtained the province as a reward for the valor 
by which he and his lord had recently subjugated it. Now 
he was a man born of the stock of the Varni, far below 
the nobility of Gothic blood, and so was neither zealous 
for liberty nor faithful toward his patron. As soon as 234 
Theodorid heard of this, he despatched a force to cast him 
out from the kingdom he had usurped. They came 
quickly and conquered him in the first battle, inflicting a 
punishment befitting his deeds. For he was captured. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



117 



taken from his friends and beheaded. Thus at last he 
was made aware of the wrath of the master he thought 
might be despised because he was kind. Now when the 
Suavi beheld the death of their leader, they sent priests 
of their country to Theodorid as suppliants. He received 
them with the reverence due their office and not only 
granted the Suavi exemption from punishment, but was 
moved by compassion and allowed them to choose a ruler 
of their own race for themselves. The Suavi did so, 
taking Rimismund as their prince. When this was done 
and peace was everywhere assured. Theodorid died in 
the thirteenth year of his reign. 

235 XLV His brother Eurich succeeded him with such 
eager haste that he fell under dark suspicion. Now while 
these and various other matters were happening among 
the people of the Visigoths, the Emperor Valentinian was 
slain by the treachery of Maximus, and Maximus himself, 
like a tyrant, usurped the rule. Gaiseric, king of the 
Vandals, heard of this and came from Africa to Italy 
with ships of war, entered Rome and laid it waste. 
Maximus fled and was slain by a certain Ursus, a Roman 

236 soldier. After him Majorian undertook the government 
of the Western Empire at the bidding of Marcian, Em- 
peror of the East. But he too ruled but a short time. 
For when he had moved his forces against the Alani who 
were harassing Gaul, he was killed at Dertona near the 
river named Ira. Severus succeeded him and died at 
Rome in the third year of his reign. When the Emperor 
Leo, who had succeeded Marcian in the Eastern Empire, 
learned of this, he chose as emperor his Patrician Anthe- 
mius and sent him to Rome. Upon his arrival he sent 
against the Alani his son-in-law Ricimer, who was an 
excellent man and almost the only one in Italy at that 
time fit to command the army. In the very first engage- 
ment he conquered and destroyed the host of the Alani, 
together with their king, Beorg. 



King Eurich 
466-485 

The Western 

Empire from 

the death of 

Valentinian 

III to Romulu; 

AUGUSTULUS 



Maximus 455 

Gaiseric Sack: 
Rome 455 

Majorian 
457-461 



Livius 
Severus 
461-465 

Leo I 

457-474 

Anthemius 
467-472 



ii8 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Olybrius 

4/2 



Glycerius 
473 

Nepos 
474 



Now Enrich, king of the Visigoths, perceived the fre- 237 
quent change of Roman Emperors and strove to hold 
Gaul by his own right. The Emperor Anthemius heard 
of it and asked the Brittones for aid. Their King 
Riotimus came with twelve thousand men into the state 
of the Bituriges by the way of Ocean, and was received 
as he disembarked from his ships. Eurich, king of the 238 
Visigoths, came against them with an innumerable army, 
and after a long fight he routed Riotimus, king of the 
Brittones, before the Romans could join him. So when 
he had lost a great part of his army, he fled with all the 
men he could gather together, and came to the Burgun- 
dians, a neighboring tribe then allied to the Romans. But 
Eurich, king of the Visigoths, seized the Gallic city of 
Arverna; for the Emperor Anthemius was now dead. 
Engaged in fierce war with his son-in-law Ricimer, he 239 
had worn out Rome and was himself finally slain by his 
son-in-law and yielded the rule to Olybrius. 

At that time Aspar, first of the Patricians and a famous 
man of the Gothic race was wounded by the swords of 
the eunuchs in his palace at Constantinople and died. 
With him were slain his sons Ardabures and Patriciolus, 
the one long a Patrician, and the other styled a Caesar 
and son-in-law of the Emperor Leo. Now Olybrius died 
barely eight months after he had entered upon his reign, 
and Glycerius was made Caesar at Ravenna, rather by 
usurpation than by election. Hardly had a year been 
ended when Nepos, the son of the sister of Marcellinus, 
once a Patrician, deposed him from his office and or- 
dained him bishop at the Port of Rome. 

When Eurich, as we have already said, beheld these 240 
great and various changes, he seized the city of Arverna, 
where the Roman general Ecdicius was at that time in 
command. He was a senator of most renowned family 
and the son of Avitus, a recent emperor who had usurped 
the reign for a few days — for Avitus held the rule for a 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



119 



few days before Olybrius, and then withdrew of his own 
accord to Placentia, where he was ordained bishop. His 
son Ecdicius strove for a long time with the Visigoths, 
but had not the power to prevail. So he left the country 
and (what was more important) the city of Arverna to 

241 the enemy and betook himself to safer regions. When 
the Emperor Nepos heard of this, he ordered Ecdicius 
to leave Gaul and come to him, appointing Orestes in his 
stead as Master of the Soldiery. This Orestes there- 
upon received the army, set out from Rome against the 
enemy and came to Ravenna. Here he tarried while he 
made his son Romulus Augustulus emperor. When 
Nepos learned of this, he fled to Dalmatia and died there, 
deprived of his throne, in the very place where Glycerins, 
who was formerly emperor, held at that time the bishopric 
of Salona. 

242 XLVI Now when Augustulus had been appointed 
Emperor by his father Orestes in Ravenna, it was not 
long before Odoacer, king of the Torcilingi, invaded 
Italy, as leader of the Sciri, the Heruli and allies of 
various races. He put Orestes to death, drove his son 
Augustulus from the throne and condemned him to the 
punishment of exile in the Castle of Lucullus in Campania. 

243 Thus the Western Empire of the Roman race, which 
Octavianus Augustus, the first of the Augusti, began to 
govern in the seven hundred and ninth year from the 
founding of the city, perished with this Augustulus in the 
five hundred and twenty-second year from the beginning 
of the rule of his predecessors and those before them, 
and from this time onward kings of the Goths held Rome 
and Italy. Meanwhile Odoacer, king of nations, subdued 
all Italy and then at the very outset of his reign slew 
Count Bracila at Ravenna that he might inspire a fear 
of himself among the Romans. He strengthened his 
kingdom and held it for almost thirteen years, even until 



Romulus 

Augustulus 

476 



The Rule 

OF Odoacer 

476-493 



Death of 
Bracila 

477 



120 



JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Leo II 

473-474 

Zeno 

474-491 



Eurich killed 
48s 

Alaric II 
Last King 

OF THE 

Visigoths 
485-S07 



The 

Ostrogoths 
and their 
subjection 

TO THE Huns 



the appearance of Theodoric, of whom we shall speak 
hereafter. 

XL VII But first let us return to that order from 244 
which we have digressed and tell how Eurich, king of the 
Visigoths, beheld the tottering of the Roman Empire and 
reduced Arelate and Massilia to his own sway. Gaiseric, 
king of the Vandals, enticed him by gifts to do these 
things, to the end that he himself might forestall the plots 
which Leo and Zeno had contrived against him. There- 
fore he stirred the Ostrogoths to lay waste the Eastern 
Empire and the Visigoths the Western, so that while his 
foes were battling in both empires, he might himself 
reign peacefully in Africa. Eurich perceived this with 
gladness and, as he already held all of Spain and Gaul 
by his own right, proceeded to subdue the Burgundians 
also. In the nineteenth year of his reign he was deprived 
of his life at Arelate, where he then dwelt. He was sue- 245 
ceeded by his own son Alaric, the ninth in succession 
from the famous Alaric the Great to receive the kingdom 
of the Visigoths. For even as it happened to the line of 
the Augusti, as we have stated above, so too it appears in 
the line of the Alarici, that kingdoms often come to an 
end in kings who bear the same name as those at the 
beginning. Meanwhile let us leave this subject, and 
weave together the whole story of the origin of the Goths, 
as we promised. 

The Divided Goths : Ostrogoths 

XLVIII Since I have followed the stories of my 246 
ancestors and retold to the best of my ability the tale of 
the period when both tribes, Ostrogoths and Visigoths, 
were united, and then clearly treated of the Visigoths 
apart from the Ostrogoths, I must now return to those 
ancient Scythian abodes and set forth in like manner the 
ancestry and deeds of the Ostrogoths. It appears that at 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



121 



the death of their king, Hermanaric, they were made a 
separate people by the departure of the Visigoths, and 
remained in their country subject to the sway of the 
Huns; yet Vinitharius of the AmaH retained the msignia 

247 of his rule. He rivalled the valor of his grandfather 
Vultuulf, although he had not the good fortune of Her- 
manaric. But disliking to remain under the rule of the 
Huns, he withdrew a little from them and strove to show 
his courage by moving his forces against the country of 
the Antes. When he attacked them, he was beaten in the 
first encounter. Thereafter he did valiantly and, as a 
terrible example, crucified their king, named Boz, together 
with his sons and seventy nobles, and left their bodies 
hanging there to double the fear of those who had sur- 

248 rendered. When he had ruled with such license for 
barely a year, Balamber, king of the Huns, would no 
longer endure it, but sent for Gesimund, son of Huni- 
mund the Great. Now Gesimund, together with a great 
part of the Goths, remained under the rule of the Huns, 
being mindful of his oath of fidelity. Balamber renewed 
his alliance with him and led his army up against Vini- 
tharius. After a long contest, Vinitharius prevailed in 
the first and in the second conflict, nor can any say how 

249 great slaughter he made of the army of the Huns. But 
in the third battle, when they met each other unexpectedly 
at the river named Erac, Balamber shot an arrow and 
wounded Vinitharius in the head, so that he died. Then 
Balamber took to himself in marriage Vadamerca, the 
grand-daughter of Vinitharius, and finally ruled all the 
people of the Goths as his peaceful subjects, but in such 
a way that one ruler of their own number always held the 
power over the Gothic race, though subject to the Huns. 

250 And later, after the death of Vinitharius, Hunimund 
ruled them, the son of Hermanaric, a mighty king of 
yore ; a man fierce in war and of famous personal beauty, 
who afterwards fought successfully against the race of 



Death of 
Hermanaric 
375 or 376 



King 

Hunimund 



122 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



King 
Thorismud 

KILLED 

404 



King 

Valamir 

445? 



the Suavi. And when he died, his son Thorismud suc- 
ceeded him, in the very bloom of youth. In the second 
year of his rule he moved an army against the Gepidae 
and won a great victory over them, but is said to have 
been killed by falling from his horse. When he was dead, 251 
the Ostrogoths mourned for him so deeply that for forty 
years no other king succeeded in his place, and during all 
this time they had ever on their lips the tale of his mem- 
ory. Now as time went on, Valamir grew to man's 
estate. He was the son of Thorismud's cousin Vanda- 
larius. For his son Beremud, as we have said before, at 
last grew to despise the race of the Ostrogoths because of 
the overlordship of the Huns, and so had followed the 
tribe of the Visigoths to the western country, and it was 
from him Veteric was descended. Veteric also had a son 
Eutharic, who married Amalasuentha, the daughter of 
Theodoric, thus uniting again the stock of the Amali 
which had divided long ago. Eutharic begat Athalaric 
and Mathesuentha. But since Athalaric died in the 
years of his boyhood, Mathesuentha was taken to Con- 
stantinople by her second husband, namely Germanus, a 
nephew of the Emperor Justinian, and bore a posthumous 
son, whom she named Germanus. 

But that the order we have taken for our history may 252 
run its due course, we must return to the stock of Vandal- 
arius, which put forth three branches. This Vandalarius, 
the great grand-nephew of Hermanaric and cousin of the 
aforesaid Thorismud, vaunted himself among the race of 
the Amali because he had begotten three sons, Valamir 
Thiudimer and Vidimer. Of these Valamir ascended the 
throne after his parents, though the Huns as yet held the 
power over the Goths in general as among other nations. 
It was pleasant to behold the concord of these three broth- 253 
ers; for the admirable Thiudimer served as a soldier for 
the empire of his brother Valamir, and Valamir bade 
honors be given him, while Vidimer was eager to serve 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY I23 

them both. Thus regarding one another with common 
affection, not one was wholly deprived of the kingdom 
which two of them held in mutual peace. Yet, as has 
often been said, they ruled in such a way that they re- 
spected the dominion of Attila, king of the Huns. Indeed 
they could not have refused to fight against their kinsmen 
the Visigoths, and they must even have committed parri- 
cide at their lord's command. There was no way whereby 
any Scythian tribe could have been wrested from the 
power of the Huns, save by the death of Attila — an 
event the Romans and all other nations desired. Now his 
death was as base as his life was marvellous. 

254 XLIX Shortly before he died, as the historian Priscus 

relates, he took in marriage a very beautiful girl named 

Ildico, after countless other wives, as was the custom of Death 

1 • TT 1 1 • 1 • ir • • OF Attila 

his race. He had given himself up to excessive joy at 453 

his wedding, and as he lay on his back, heavy with wine 
and sleep, a rush of superfluous blood, which would ordi- 
narily have flowed from his nose, streamed in deadly 
course down his throat and killed him, since it was hin- 
dered in the usual passages. Thus did drunkenness put a 
disgraceful end to a king renowned in war. On the fol- 
lowing day, when a great part of the morning was spent, 
the royal attendants suspected some ill and, after a great 
uproar, broke in the doors. There they found the death 
of Attila accomplished by an effusion of blood, without 
any wound, and the girl with downcast face weeping 

255 beneath her veil. Then, as is the custom of that race, 
they plucked out the hair of their heads and made their 
faces hideous with deep wounds, that the renowned war- 
rior might be mourned, not by effeminate wailings and 
tears, but by the blood of men. Moreover a wondrous 
thing took place in connecton with Attila's death. For 
in a dream some god stood at the side of Marcian, Em- 
peror of the East, while he was disquieted about his 
fierce foe, and showed him the bow of Attila broken in 



124 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

that same night, as if to intimate that the race of Huns 
owed much to that weapon. This account the historian 
Priscus says he accepts upon truthful evidence. For so 
terrible was Attila thought to be to great empires that 
the gods announced his death to rulers as a special boon. 

We shall not omit to say a few words about the many 256 
ways in which his shade was honored by his race. His 
body was placed in the midst of a plain and lay in state 
in a silken tent as a sight for men's admiration. The best 
horsemen of the entire tribe of the Huns rode around in 
circles, after the manner of circus games, in the place 
to which he had been brought and told of his deeds in a 
funeral dirge in the following manner : "The chief of the 257 
Huns, King Attila, born of his sire Mundiuch, lord of 
bravest tribes, sole possessor of the Scythian and German 
realms — powers unknown before — captured cities and 
terrified both empires of the Roman world and, appeased 
by their prayers, took annual tribute to save the rest from 
plunder. And when he had accomplished all this by the 
favor of fortune, he fell not by wound of the foe, nor 
by treachery of friends, but in the midst of his nation at 
peace, happy in his joy and without sense of pain. Who 
can rate this as death, when none believes it calls for 
vengeance?" When they had mourned him with such 258 
lamentations, a strava, as they call it, was celebrated over 
his tomb with great revelling. They gave way in turn to 
the extremes of feeling and displayed funereal grief alter- 
nating with joy. Then in the secrecy of night they buried 
his body in the earth. They bound his coffins, the first 
with gold, the second with silver and the third with the 
strength of iron, showing by such means that these three 
things suited the mightiest of kings; iron because he 
subdued the nations, gold and silver because he received 
the honors of both empires. They also added the arms 
of foemen won in the fight, trappings of rare worth, 
sparkling with various gems, and ornaments of all sorts 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



125 



259 



260 



261 



whereby princely state is maintained. And that so great 
riches might be kept from human curiosity, they slew 
those appointed to the work' — a dreadful pay for their 
labor; and thus sudden death was the lot of those who 
buried him as well as of him who was buried. 

L After they had fulfilled these rites, a contest for 
the highest place arose among Attila's successors — for the 
minds of young men are wont to be inflamed by ambition 
for power — and in their rash eagerness to rule they all 
alike destroyed his empire. Thus kingdoms are often 
weighed down by a superfluity rather than by a lack of 
successors. For the sons of Attila, who through the 
license of his lust formed almost a people of themselves, 
were clamoring that the nations should be divided among 
them equally and that warlike kings with their peoples 
should be apportioned to them by lot like a family estate. 
When Ardaric, king of the Gepidae, learned this, he 



became enraged because so many nations were 



being 



treated like slaves of the basest condition, and was the 
first to rise against the sons of Attila. Good fortune 
attended him, and he effaced the disgrace of servitude that 
rested upon him. For by his revolt he freed not only his 
own tribe, but all the others who were equally oppressed; 
since all readily strive for that which is sought for the 
general advantage. They took up arms against the de- 
struction that menaced all and joined battle with the 
Huns in Pannonia, near a river called Nedao. There an 
encounter took place between the various nations Attila 
had held under his sway. Kingdoms with their peoples 
were divided, and out of one body were made many 
members not responding to a common impulse. Being- 
deprived of their head, they madly strove against each 
other. They never found their equals ranged against 
them without harming each other by wounds mutually 
given. And so the bravest nations tore themselves to 
pieces. For then, I think, must have occurred a most 



Dissolution 

OF THE 

Kingdom 

OF THE 

Huns 
454 



Battle 

of 

Nedao 

454 



126 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

remarkable spectacle, where one might see the Goths 
fighting with pikes, the Gepidae raging with the sword, 
the Rugi breaking oft" the spears in their own wounds, the 
Snavi fighting on foot, the Huns with bows, the Alani 
drawing up a battle-Hne of heavy-armed and the HeruH 
of hght-armed warriors. 

Finally, after many bitter conflicts, victory fell unex- 262 
pectedly to the Gepidae. For the sword and conspiracy 
of Ardaric destroyed almost thirty thousand men, Huns 
as well as those of the other nations who brought them 
aid. In this battle fell Ellac, the elder son of Attila, 
whom his father is said to have loved so much more than 
all the rest that he preferred him to any child or even to 
all the children of his kingdom. But fortune was not in 
accord with his father's wish. For after slaying many 
of the foe, it appears that he met his death so bravely 
that if his father had lived, he would have rejoiced at his 
glorious end. When Ellac was slain, his remaining 263 
brothers were put to flight near the shore of the Sea of 
Pontus, where we have said the Goths first settled. Thus 
did the Huns give way, a race to which men thought the 
whole world must yield. So baneful a thing is division, 
that they who used to inspire terror when their strength 
was united, were overthrown separately. The cause of 
Ardaric, king of the Gepidae, was fortunate for the va- 
rious nations who were unwillingly subject to the rule 
of the Huns, for it raised their long downcast spirits to 
the glad hope of freedom. Many sent ambassadors to 
the Roman territory, where they were most graciously 
received by Marcian, who was then emperor, and took the 
abodes allotted them to dwell in. But the Gepidae by their 264 
own might won for themselves the territory of the Huns 
and ruled as victors over the extent of all Dacia, demand- 
ing of the Roman Empire nothing more than peace and 
an annual gift as a pledge of their friendly alliance. This 
the Emperor freely granted at the time, and to this day 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 1 27 

that race receives its customary gifts from the Roman 
Emperor. 

Now when the Goths saw the Gepidae defending for 
themselves the territory of the Huns, and the people of 
the Huns dwelling again in their ancient abodes, they 
preferred to ask for lands from the Roman Empire, 
rather than invade the lands of others with danger to 
themselves. So they received Pannonia, which stretches 
in a long plain, being bounded on the east by Upper 
Moesia, on the south by Dalmatia, on the west by Nori- 
cum and on the north by the Danube. This land is 
adorned with many cities, the first of which is Sirmium 

265 and the last Vindobona. But the Sauromatae, whom we 
call Sarmatians, and the Cemandri and certain of the 
Huns dwelt in Castra Martis, a city given them in the 
region of Illyricium. Of this race was Blivila, Duke of 
Pentapolis, and his brother Froila and also Bessa, a Patri- 
cian in our time. The Sciri, moreover, and the Sadagarii 
and certain of the Alani with their leader, Candac by 
name, received Scythia Minor and Lower Moesia. Paria, 

266 the father of my father Alanoviiamuth (that is to say, 
my grandfather), was secretary to this Candac as long 
as he lived. To his sister's son Gunthigis, also called 
Baza, the Master of the Soldiery, who was the son of 
Andag the son of Andela, who was descended from the 

stock of the Amali, I also, Jordanes, although an un- Jordanes 

learned man before my conversion, was secretary. The 

Rugi, however, and some other races asked that they 

might inhabit Bizye and Arcadiopolis. Hernac, the 

younger son of Attila, with his followers, chose a home 

in the most distant part of Lesser Scythia. Emnetzur and 

Ultzindur, kinsmen of his, won Oescus and Utus and 

Almus in Dacia on the bank of the Danube, and many of 

the Huns, then swarming everywhere, betook themselves 

into Romania, and from them the Sacromontisi and the 

Fossatisii of this day are said to be descended. 



128 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTIIS 



Bishop Ulfilas 
about 311-381 



The 
Lesser 
Goths 



The 

Ostrogoths 

IN Pannonia 



Birth 

OF 

Theodoric 

the Great 

454 



LI There were other Goths also, called the Lesser, 267 
a great people whose priest and primate was Vulfila, who 
is said to have taught them to write. And to-day they 
are in Moesia, inhabiting the Nicopolitan region as far 
as the base of Mount Haemus. They are a numerous 
people, but poor and unwarlike, rich in nothing save 
flocks of various kinds and pasture-lands for cattle and 
forests for wood. Their country is not fruitful in wheat 
and other sorts of grain. Some of them do not know 
that vineyards exist elsewhere, and they buy their wine 
from neighboring countries. But most of them drink 
milk. 

LI I Let us now return to the tribe with which we 268 
started, namely the Ostrogoths, who were dwelling in 
Pannonia under their king Valamir and his brothers Thi- 
udimer and Vidimer. Although their territories were 
separate, yet their plans were one. For Valamir dwelt 
between the rivers Scarniunga and Aqua Nigra, Thiudi- 
mer near Lake Pelso and Vidimer between them both. 
Now it happened that the sons of Attila, regarding the 
Goths as deserters from their rule, came against them as 
though they were seeking fugitive slaves, and attacked 
Valamir alone, when his brothers knew nothing of it. He 269 
sustained their attack, though he had but few supporters, 
and after harassing them a long time, so utterly over- 
whelmed them that scarcely any portion of the enemy 
remained. The remnant turned in flight and sought 
the parts of Scythia which border on the stream of the 
river Danaper, which the Huns call in their own tongue 
the Var. Thereupon he sent a messenger of good tidings 
to his brother Thiudimer, and on the very day the mes- 
senger arrived he found even greater joy in the house of 
Thiudimer. For on that day his son Theodoric was born, 
of a concubine Erelieva indeed, and yet a child of good 
hope. 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



129 



270 Now after no great time King Valamir and his broth- 
ers Thiudimer and Vidimer sent an embassy to the Em- 
peror Marcian, because the usual gifts which they re- 
ceived hke a New Year's present from the Emperor, to 
preserve the compact of peace, were slow in arriving. 
And they found that Theodoric, son of Triarius, a man 
of Gothic blood also, but born of another stock, not of 
the Amali, was in great favor, together with his fol- 
lowers. He was allied in friendship with the Romans 
and obtained an annual bounty, while they themselves 

271 were merely held in disdain. Thereat they were aroused 
to frenzy and took up arms. They roved through almost 
the whole of Illyricum and laid it waste in their search 
for spoil. Then the Emperor quickly changed his mind 
and returned to his former state of friendship. He sent 
an embassy to give them the past gifts, as well as those 
now due, and furthermore promised to give these gifts 
in future without any dispute. From the Goths the 
Romans received as a hostage of peace Theodoric, the 
young child of Thiudimer, whom we have mentioned 
above. He had now attained the age of seven years and 
was entering upon his eighth. While his father hesitated 
about giving him up, his uncle Valamir besought him to 
do it', hoping that peace between the Romans and the 
Goths might thus be assured. Therefore Theodoric was 
given as a hostage by the Goths and brought to the city 
of Constantinople to the Emperor Leo and, being a 
goodly child, deservedly gained the imperial favor. 

272 LHI Now after firm peace was established between 
Goths and Romans, the Goths found that the possessions 
they had received from the Emperor were not sufficient 
for them. Furthermore, they were eager to display their 
wonted valor, and so began to plunder the neighboring- 
races round about them, first attacking the Sadagis who 
held the interior of Pannonia. When Dintzic, king of the 
Huns, a son of Attila, learned this, he gathered to him 



His youth 

SPENT AT 
CONSTANTINOPL 
BEGINNING 461 



The Goths 

overwhelm 

the remnant 

OF THE Huns 



130 



JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Conquest 

OF THE 
SUAVI 



Plot of 
Hunimund 
about 4/0 



the few who still seemed to have remained under his 
sway, namely, the Ultzinziires, the Angisciri, the Bittu- 
giires and the Bardores. Coming to Bassiana, a city of 
Pannonia, he beleaguered it and began to plunder its terri- 
tory. Then the Goths at once abandoned the expedition 273 
they had planned against the Sadagis, turned upon the 
Huns and drove them so ingloriously from their own 
land that those who remained have been in dread of the 
arms of the Goths from that time down to the present 
day. 

When the tribe of the Huns was at last subdued by the 
Goths, Hunimund, chief of the Suavi, who was crossing 
over to plunder Dalmatia, carried off some cattle of the 
Goths which were straying over the plains; for Dalmatia 
was near Suavia and not far distant from the territory 
of Pannonia, especially that part where the Goths were 
then staying. So then, as Hunimund was returning 274 
with the Suavi to his own country, after he had de- 
vastated Dalmatia, Thiudimer the brother of Valamir, 
king of the Goths, kept watch on their line of march. 
Not that he grieved so much over the loss of his cattle, 
but he feared that if the Suavi obtained this plunder with 
impunity, they would proceed to greater license. So in 
the dead of night, while they were asleep, he made an 
unexpected attack upon them, near Lake Pelso. Here he 
so completely crushed them that he took captive and sent 
into slavery under the Goths even Hunimund, their king, 
and all of his army who had escaped the sword. Yet 
as he was a great lover of mercy, he granted pardon 
after taking vengeance and became reconciled to the 
Suavi. He adopted as his son the same man whom he 
had taken captive, and sent him back with his followers 
into Suavia. But Hunimund was unmindful of his 275 
adopted father's kindness. After some time he brought 
forth a plot he had contrived and aroused the tribe of the 
Sciri, who then dwelt above the Danube and abode peace- 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



131 



ably with the Goths. So the Sciri broke off their alHance 
with them, took up arms, joined themselves to Hunimund 
and went out to attack the race of the Goths. Thus war 
came upon the Goths who were expecting no evil, because 
they relied upon both of their neighbors as friends. Con- 
strained by necessity they took up arms and avenged 

276 themselves and their injuries by recourse to battle. In 
this battle, as King Valamir rode on his horse before the 
line to encourage his men, the horse was wounded and 
fell, overthrowing its rider. Valamir was quickly pierced 
by his enemies' spears and slain. Thereupon the Goths 
proceeded to exact vengeance for the death of their king, 
as well as for the injury done them by the rebels. They 
fought in such wise that there remained of all the race of 
the Sciri only a few who bore the name, and they with 
disgrace. Thus were all destroyed. 

277 LIV The kings [of the Suavi], Hunimund and 
Alaric, fearing the destruction that had come upon the 
Sciri, next made war upon the Goths, relying upon the 
aid of the Sarmatians, who had come to them as auxili- 
aries with their kings Beuca and Babai. They summoned 
the last remnants of the Sciri, with Edica and Hunuulf, 
their chieftains, thinking they would fight the more des- 
perately to avenge themselves. They had on their side 
the Gepidae also, as well as no small reenforcements from 
the race of the Rugi and from others gathered here 
and there. Thus they brought together a great host at 

278 the river Bolia in Pannonia and encamped there. Now 
when Valamir was dead, the Goths fled to Thiudimer, 
his brother. Although he had long ruled along with his 
brothers, yet he took the insignia of his increased author- 
ity and summoned his younger brother Vidimer and 
shared with him the cares of war, resorting to arms under 
compulsion. A battle was fought and the party of the 
Goths was found to be so much the stronger that the 
plain was drenched in the blood of their fallen foes and 



Success oi 
THE Goths 

UNDER 

Thiudimeb 

ABOUT 47c 



132 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Thiudimer 
again wars 

WITH THE 
SUAVI 



T >ilum'MlvR 

SENT BACK 

TO HIS OWN 

PEOPLE 



looked like a crimson sea. Weapons and corpses, piled 
up like hills, covered the plain for more than ten miles. 
When the Goths saw this, they rejoiced with joy imspeak- 279 
able, because by this great slaughter of their foes they 
«/ had avenged the blood of Valamir their king and the 
injury done themselves. But those of the innumerable 
and motley throng of the foe who were able to escape, 
though they got away, nevertheless came to their own 
land with diflficulty and without glory. 

LV After a certain time, when the wintry cold was 280 
at hand, the river Danube was frozen over as usual. For 
a river like this freezes so hard that it will support like 
a solid rock an army of foot-soldiers and wagons and 
sledges and whatsoever vehicles there may be- — nor is 
there need of skiffs and boats. So when Thiudimer, king 
of the Goths, saw that it was frozen, he led his army 
across the Danube and appeared unexpectedly to the Suavi 
from the rear. Now this country of the Suavi has on the 
east the Baiovari, on the west the Franks, on the south the 
Burgundians and on the north the Thuringians. With 281 
the Suavi there were present the Alamanni, then their 
confederates, who also ruled the Alpine heights, whence 
several streams flow into the Danube, pouring in with a 
great rushing sound. Into a place thus fortified King 
Thiudimer led his army in the winter-time and conquered, 
plundered and almost subdued the race of the Suavi as 
well as the Alamanni, who were mutually banded to- 
gether. Thence he returned as victor to his own home in 
Pannonia and joyfully received his son Theodoric, once 
given as hostage to Constantinople and now sent back by 
the Emperor Leo with great gifts. Now Theodoric had 282 
reached man's estate, for he was eighteen years of age 
and his boyhood was ended. So he summoned certain of 
his father's adherents and took to himself from the people 
his friends and retainers — almost six thousand men. 
With these he crossed the Danube, without his father's 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



133 



knowledge, and marched against Babai, king of the Sar- 
matians, who had just won a victory over Camundus, a 
general of the Romans, and was ruling with insolent 
pride. Theodoric came upon him and slew him, and 
taking as booty his slaves and treasure, returned vic- 
torious to his father. Next he invaded the city of Singi- 
dunum, which the Sarmatians themselves had seized, and 
did not return it to the Romans, but reduced it to his own 
sway. 

283 LVI Then as the spoil taken from one and another 
of the neighboring tribes diminished, the Goths began 
to lack food and clothing, and peace became distaste- 
ful to men for whom war had long furnished the 
necessaries of life. So all the Goths approached their 
krng Thiudimer and, with great outcry, begged him to 
lead forth his army in whatsoever direction he might 
wish. He summoned his brother and, after casting lots, 
bade him go into the country of Italy, where at this time 
Glycerins ruled as emperor, saying that he himself as the 
mightier would go to the east against a mightier empire. 

284 And so it happened. Thereupon Vidimer entered the 
land of Italy, but soon paid the last debt of fate and 
departed from earthly affairs, leaving his son and name- 
sake Vidimer to succeed him. The Emperor Glycerius 
bestowed gifts upon Vidimer and persuaded him to go 
from Italy to Gaul, which was then harrassed on all sides 
by various races, saying that their own kinsmen, the 
Visigoths, there ruled a neighboring kingdom. And 
what more? Vidimer accepted the gifts and, obeying 
the command of the Emperor Glycerius, pressed on to 
Gaul. Joining with his kinsmen the Visigoths, they 
again formed one body, as they had been long ago. Thus 
they held Gaul and Spain by their own right and so 
defended them that no other race won the mastery there. 

285 But Thiudimer, the elder brother, crossed the river 
Savus with his men, threatening the Sarmatians and their 



Capture of 
Belgrade 



Vidimer 
the youngei 

GOES TO 

Gaul 
473 



Thiudimer 

IN 

Macedonia 



134 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



J 



Zeno 
474-491 

Theodoric the 

Great 

475-526 



soldiers with war if any should resist him. From fear of 
this they kept quiet ; moreover they were powerless in the 
face of so great a host. Thiudimer, seeing prosperity 
everywhere awaiting him, invaded Naissus, the first city 
of Illyricum. He was joined by his son Theodoric and 
the Counts Astat and Invilia, and sent them to Ulpiana 
by way of Castrum Herculis. Upon their arrival the 286 
town surrendered, as did Stobi later; and several places 
of Illyricum, inaccessible to them at first, were thus made 
easy of approach. For they first plundered and then 
ruled by right of war Heraclea and Larissa, cities of 
Thessaly. But Thiudimer the king, perceiving his own 
good fortune and that of his son, was not content with 
this alone, but set forth from the city of Naissus, leaving 
only a few men behind as a guard. He himself advanced 
to Thessalonica, where Hilarianus the Patrician, ap- 
pointed by the Emperor, was stationed with his army. 
When Hilarianus beheld Thessalonica surrounded by an 287 
entrenchment and saw that he could not resist attack, he 
sent an embassy to Thiudimer the king and by the offer 
of gifts turned him aside from destroying the city. Then 
the Roman general entered upon a truce with the Goths 
and of his own accord handed over to them those places 
they inhabited, namely Cyrrhus, Pella, Europus, IVle- 
thone, Pydna, Beroea, and another which is called Dium. 
So the Goths and their king laid aside their arms, con- 288 
sented to peace and became quiet. Soon after these 
events. King Thiudimer was seized with a mortal illness 
in the city of Cyrrhus. He called the Goths to himself, 
appointed Theodoric his son as heir of his kingdom and 
presently departed this life. 

LVn When the Emperor Zeno heard that Theodoric 289 
had been appointed king over his own people, he received 
the news with pleasure and invited him to come and visit 
him in the city, sending an escort of honor. Receiving 
Theodoric with all due respect, he placed him among the 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY I35 

princes of his palace. After some time Zeno increased Theodoric 

^ . . HONORED 

his dignity by adopting him as his son-at-arms and gave by Zeno 

him a triumph in the city at his expense. Theodoric was ^'^ 

made Consul Ordinary also, which is well known to be 
the supreme good and highest honor in the world. Nor 
was this all, for Zeno set up before the royal palace an 
equestrian statue to the glory of this great man. 

290 Now while Theodoric was in alliance by treaty with he seeks to 
the Empire of Zeno and was himself enjoying every ^ obtain the 
comfort in the city, he heard that his tribe, dwelling as for his 
we have said in Illyricum, was not altogether satisfied or 

content. So he chose rather to seek a living by his own 
exertions, after the manner customary to his race, rather 
than to enjoy the advantages of the Roman Empire in 
luxurious ease while his tribe lived apart. After pon- 
dering these matters, he said to the Emperor : "Though I 
lack nothing in serving your Empire, yet if Your Piety 
deem it worthy, be pleased to hear the desire of my 

291 heart." And when as usual he had been granted permis- 
to speak freely, he said : "The western country, long 
ago governed by the rule of your ancestors and prede- 
cessors, and that city which was the head and mistress of 
the world — wherefore is it now shaken by the tyranny 
of the Torcilingi and the Rugi ? Send me there with my 
race. Thus if you but say the word, you may be freed 
from the burden of expense here, and, if by the Lord's 
help I shall conquer, the fame of Your Piety shall be 
glorious there. For it is better that I, your servant and 
your son, should rule that kingdom, receiving it as a 
gift from you if I conquer, than that one whom you do 
not recognize should oppress your Senate with his tyran- 
nical yoke and a part of the republic with slavery. For if 
I prevail, I shall retain it as your grant and gift; if I am 
conquered. Your Piety will lose nothing — nay, as I have 

292 said, it will save the expense I now entail." Although the 
Emperor was grieved that he should go, yet when he 



136 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 



Theodoric 

sets out for 

Italy 

488 



He conquers 
Odoacer 

AND puts 
HIM TO DEATH 

493 



Theodoric 

founds the 

Ostrogothic 

Kingdom in 

Italy 

493 



heard this he granted what Theodoric asked, for he was 
unwilhng to cause him sorrow. He sent him forth en- 
riched by great gifts and commended to his charge the 
Senate and the Roman People. 

Therefore Theodoric departed from the royal city and 
returned to his own people. In company with the whole 
tribe of the Goths, who gave him their unanimous con- 
sent, he set out for Hesperia. He went in straight march 
through Sirmium to the places bordering on Pannonia 
and, advancing into the territory of Venetia as far as 
the bridge of the Sontius, encamped there. When he 293 
had halted there for some time to rest the bodies of 
his men and pack-animals, Odoacer sent an armed force 
against him, which he met on the plains of Verona and 
destroyed with great slaughter. Then he broke camp 
and advanced through Italy with greater boldness. Cross- 
ing the* river Po, he pitched camp near the royal city 
of Ravenna, about the third milestone from the city in 
the place called Pineta. When Odoacer saw this, he 
fortified himself within the city. He frequently harassed 
the army of the Goths at night, sallying forth stealthily 
with his men, and this not once or twice, but often; and 
thus he struggled for almost three whole years. But he 294 
labored in vain, for all Italy at last called Theodoric its 
lord and the Empire obeyed his nod. But Odoacer, with 
his few adherents and the Romans who were present, suf- 
fered daily from war and famine in Ravenna. Since he 
accomplished nothing, he sent an embassy and begged for 
mercy. Theodoric first granted it and afterwards de- 295 
prived him of his life. 

It was in the third year after his entrance into Italy, 
as we have said, that Theodoric, by advice of the Em- 
peror Zeno, laid aside the garb of a private citizen and 
the dress of his race and assumed a costume with a royal 
mantle, as he had now become the ruler over both Goths 
and Romans. He sent an embassy to Lodoin, king of the 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



^37 



Franks, and asked for his daughter Aiidefleda in mar- 

296 riage. Lodoin freely and gladly gave her, and also his 
sons Celdebert and Heldebert and Thiudebert, believing 
that by this alliance a league would be formed and that 
they would be associated with the race of the Goths. But 
that union was of no avail for peace and harmony, for 
they fought fiercely with each other again and again for 
the lands of the Goths; but never did the Goths yield to 
the Franks while Theodoric lived. 

297 LVIII Now before he had a child from Audefleda, 
Theodoric had children of a concubine, daughters begot- 
ten in Moesia, one named Thiudigoto and another Ostro- 
gotho. Soon after he came to Italy, he gave them in mar- 
riage to neighboring kings, one to Alaric, king- of the 
Visigoths, and the other to Sigismund, king of the Bur- 

298 gundians. Now Alaric begat Amalaric. While his grand- 
father Theodoric cared for and protected him — for he 
had lost both parents in the years of childhood — he 
found that Eutharic, the son of Veteric, grandchild of 
Beremud and of Thorismud, and a descendant of the race 
of the Amali, was living in Spain, a young man strong in 
wisdom and valor and health of body. Theodoric sent 
for him and gave him his daughter Amalasuentha in 

299 marriage. And that he might extend his family as much 
as possible, he sent his sister Amalafrida (the mother of 
Theodahad, who was afterwards king) to Africa as wife 
of Thrasamund, king of the Vandals, and her daughter 
Amalaberga ,who was his own niece, he united with Her- 
minefred, king of the Thuringians. 

300 Now he sent his Count Pitza, chosen from among the 
chief men of his kingdom, to hold the city of Sirmium. 
He got possession of it by driving out its king Thrasaric, 
son of Thraustila, and keeping his mother captive. Thence 
he came with two thousand infantry and five hundred 
horsemen to aid Mundo against Sabinian, Master of the 
Soldiery of Illyricum, who at that time had made ready to 



Of the increase 
of his power 



Amalaric 
507-531 



138 



JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTIIS 



Thiudis 
531-548 



Thiudigisclus 
548-549 



Agil 
549-554 



Athanagild 

554-567 



Theodoric 

THE Great dies 

526 



fight with Mundo near the city named Margoplanum, 
which Hes between the Danube and Margus rivers, and 
destroyed the Army of Illyricum. For this Mundo, who 
traced his descent from the Attilani of old, had fled 
from the tribe of the Gepidae and was roaming beyond 
the Danube in waste places where no man tilled the soil. 
He had gathered around him many outlaws and ruffians 
and robbers from all sides and had seized a tower called 
Herta, situated on the bank of the Danube. There he 
plundered his neighbors in wild license and made himself 
king over his vagabonds. Now Pitza came upon him 
when he was nearly reduced to desperation and was al- 
ready thinking of surrender. So he rescued him from 
the hands of Sabinian and made him a grateful subject of 
his king Theodoric. 

Theodoric won an equally great victory over the 
Franks through his Count Ibba in Gaul, when more than 
thirty thousand Franks were slain in battle. Moreover, 
after the death of his son-in-law Alaric, Theodoric ap- 
pointed Thiudis, his armor-bearer, guardian of his grand- 
son Amalaric in Spain. But Amalaric was ensnared by 
the plots of the Franks in early youth and lost at once his 
kingdom and his life. Then his guardian Thiudis, ad- 
vancing from the same kingdom, assailed the Franks and 
delivered the Spaniards from their disgraceful treachery. 
So long as he lived he kept the Visigoths united. After 
him Thiudigisclus obtained the kingdom and, ruling but 
a short time, met his death at the hands of his own fol- 
lowers. He was succeeded by Agil, who holds the king- 
dom to the present day. Athanagild has rebelled against 
him and is even now provoking- the might of the Roman 
Empire. So Liberius the Patrician is on the way with 
an army to oppose him. Now there was not a tribe in 
the west that did not serve Theodoric while he lived, 
either in friendship or by conquest. 



301 



LIX 



When he had reached old age and knew that he 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



139 



should soon depart this Hfe, he called together the Gothic 
counts and chieftains of his race and appointed Athalaric 
as king. He was a boy scarce ten years old, the son of 
his daughter Amalasuentha, and he had lost his father 
Eutharic. As though uttering his last will and testament, 
Theodoric adjured and commanded them to honor their 
king, to love the Senate and Roman People and to make 
sure of the peace and good will of the Emperor of the 
East, as next after God. 

305 They kept this command fully so long as Athalaric 
their king and his mother lived, and ruled in peace for 
almost eight years. But as the Franks put no confidence 
in the rule of a child and furthermore held him in con- 
tempt, and were also plotting war, he gave back to them 
those parts of Gaul which his father and grandfather had 
seized. He possessed all the rest in peace and quiet. 
Therefore when Athalaric was approaching the age of 
manhood, he entrusted to the Emperor of the East both 
his own youth and his mother's widowhood. But in a 
short time the ill-fated boy was carried off by an untimely 

306 death and departed from earthly affairs. His mother 
feared she might be despised by the Goths on account of 
the weakness of her sex. So after much thought she de- 
cided, for the sake of relationship, to summon her cousin 
Theodahad from Tuscany, where he led a retired life at 
home, and thus she established him on the throne. But 
he was unmindful of their kinship and, after a little time, 
had her taken from the palace at Ravenna to an island 
of the Bulsinian lake where he kept her in exile. After 
spending a very few days there in sorrow, she was 
strangled in the bath by his hirelings. 

307 LX When Justinian, the Emperor of the East, heard 
this, he was aroused as if he had suffered personal injury 
in the death of his wards. Now at that time he had won 
a triumph over the Vandals in Africa, through his most 
faithful Patrician Belisarius. Without delay he sent his 



King 
Athalaric 
526-534 



Amalasuentha 



Theodahad 
534-536 



534 



Justinian 

527-565 

Justinian sends 
Belisarius to 

avenge the 
death of his 

WARDS 
534 



140 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

army under this leader against the Goths at the very time 
when his arms were yet dripping with the blood of the 
Vandals. This sagacious general believed he could not 308 
overcome the Gothic nation, unless he should first seize 
Sicily, their nursing-mother. Acordingly he did so. As 
soon as he entered Trinacria, the Goths, who were besieg- 
ing the town of Syracuse, found that they were not suc- 
ceeding and surrendered of their own accord to Belisa- 
rius, with their leader Sinderith. When the Roman gen- 
eral reached Sicily, Theodahad sought out Evermud, his 
son-in-law, and sent him with an army to guard the strait 
which lies between Campania and Sicily and sweeps from 
a bend of the Tyrrhenian Sea into the vast tide of the 
Adriatic. When Evermud arrived, he pitched his camp 309 
by the town of Rhegium. He soon saw that his side w^as 
the weaker. Coming over with a few close and faithful 
followers to the side of the victor and willingly casting 
himself at the feet of Belisarius, he decided to serve the 
rulers of the Roman Empire. When the army of the 
Goths perceived this, they distrusted Theodahad and 
clamored for his expulsion from the kingdom and for the 
appointment as king of their leader Vitiges, who had been 
Vitiges his armor bearer. This was done; and presently Vitiges 310 

536-540 ^^'^^ raised to the office of king on the Barbarian Plains. 

He entered Rome and sent on to Ravenna the men most 
faithful to him to demand the death of Theodahad. They 
came and executed his command. After King Theodahad 
was slain, a messenger came from the king — for he was 
already king in the Barbarian Plains — to proclaim Vitiges 
to the people. 

Meanwhile the Roman army crossed the strait and 311 
marched toward Campania. They took Naples and 
pressed on to Rome. Now a few days before they ar- 
rived. King Vitiges had set forth from Rome, arrived at 
Ravenna and married Mathesuentha, the dauo-hter of 



THE GOTHIC HISTORY 



141 



Amalasuentha and grand-daughter of Theodoric, the for- 
mer king. While he was celebrating his new marriage and 
holding court at Ravenna, the imperial army advanced 
from Rome and attacked the strongholds in both parts of 
Tuscany. When Vitiges learned of this through messen- 
gers, he sent a force under Hunila, a leader of the Goths, 

312 to Perusia which was beleaguered by them. While they 
were endeavoring by a long siege to dislodge Count 
Magnus, who was holding the place with a small force, 
the Roman army came upon them, and they themselves 
were driven away and utterly exterminated. When Vit- 
iges heard the news, he raged like a lion and assembled 
all the host of the Goths. He advanced from Ravenna 
and harassed the walls of Rome with a long siege. But 
after fourteen months his courage was broken and he 
raised the siege of the city of Rome and prepared to over- 

313 whelm Ariminum. Here he was baffled in like manner 
and put to flight ; and so he retreated to Ravenna. When 
besieged there, he quickly and willingly surrendered him- 
self to the victorious side, together with his wife Mathe- 
suentha and the royal treasure. 

And thus a famous kingdom and most valiant race, 
which had long held sway, was at last overcome in almost 
its two thousand and thirtieth year by that conqueror of 
many nations, the Emperor Justinian, through his most 
faithful consul Belisarius. He gave Vitiges the title of 
Patrician and took him to Constantinople, where he dwelt 
for more than two years, bound by ties of affection to the 

314 Emperor, and then departed this life. But his consort 
Mathesuentha was bestowed by the Emperor upon the 
Patrician Germanus, his nephew. And of them was born 
a son (also called Germanus) after the death of his father 
Germanus. This union of the race of the Anicii with 
the stock of the Amali gives hopeful promise, under the 
Lord's favor, to both peoples. 



The 

Ostrogoths 

overcome 

BY 

Belisarius 



Siege of 

Rome 

537-538 



Surrender of 

Vitiges 

540 



Death of 
Vitiges 

542 



Mathesuentha 

marries 

Germanus 

542 



142 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Conclusion 

And now we have recited the origin of the Goths, the 315 
noble line of the Amali and the deeds of brave men. This 
glorious race yielded to a more glorious prince and sur- 
rendered to a more valiant leader, whose fame shall be 
silenced by no ages or cycles of years; for the victorious 
and triumphant Emperor Justinian and his consul Beli- 
sarius shall be named and known as Vandalicus, Afri- 
canus and Geticus. 

Thou who readest this, know that I have followed the 316 
writings of my ancestors, and have culled a few flowers 
from their broad meadows to weave a chaplet for him 
who cares to know these things. Let no one believe that 
to the advantage of the race of which I have spoken— 
though indeed I trace my own descent from it — I have 
added aught besides what I have read or learned by 
inquiry. Even thus I have not included all that is written 
or told about them, nor spoken so much to their praise as 
to the glory of him who conquered them. 



COMMENTARY 

Preface i. as a certain writer says: this refers to the state- 
ment of Rufinus (about 345-410), in the preface to his ver- 
sion of Origen's commentary on the epistle to the Romans. 
Jordanes has not merely borrowed a phrase, as his words 
seem to indicate; he has taken over the entire introduction of 
Rufinus almost word for word, as Sybel first pointed out 
(Schmidt: Zeitschrift fiir Geschichtswissenschaft, vii, 288). 
brother Castalius: this form of address (compare frater Vigili 
in the introduction to his Romana) together with such pious 
expressions as orans pro me, frater carissime. Dominus tecum. 
Amen. (§3), si dominus donaverit (§9), iubante domino (§ 75), etc., 
naturally accord with the belief that Jordanes was a monk or 
an ecclesiastic. See also Introduction (p. 5). abbreviation 
of the Chronicles: namely, the Romxina. Jordanes was en- 
gaged in writing his Romana, more fully entitled De smiiina 
temporum vel origine actibusque gentts Romanorum, but laid it 
aside to write the History of the Goths (Getica) which he pub- 
lished first (551 A.D.). See his preface to the Romana (§ 4): 
aliud volumen de origine actusque Getice gentis, quam iam dudum 
communi amico Castalio ededissein. Senator: not a title, but 
part of the name of Flavins Magnus Aurelius Cassiodor(i)us 
Senator (about 487 — about 583), whose History of the Goths 
in twelve books is known to us only in the abridgment of 
Jordanes. Cassiodorus himself mentions the work in the preface 
to his Variae, where his friends are represented as saying to 
'him: duodecim libris Gothorum historiam defloratis prosperitatibus 
condidisti. 

I 4. Orosius: almost an exact quotation from Orosius i, 2, i: 
maiores nostri orbeni totius terrae Oceani limbo circumsaeptum 
triqnadrum statuere eiusque tres partes Asiam, Europam et Africam 
vocaverunt. 

6. Hippodes: see Julius Honorius p. 691. Gron.: insulaei 
orientalcs Oceani quae sunt Hippopodes insula, lannessi insula, 
Solis perusta insula, Taprobane insula, Silefantine insula, Teron 
insula. Taprobane: the island of Ceylon. ten . . . cities: 
see Orosius i, 2, 16: insula Taprobane, quae habet decern civitates. 
On the punctuation of this sentence in the Latin, see A. Bach- 
mann, Zu lordanis, in Neues Archiv 23, 175 (1898). 

7. Strait of Gades: the strait of Gibraltar. Fortunate: 
the storied islands of the western Ocean, the abodes of the 
Blessed ( f^andpuy vijaoi ), are perhaps to be identified with the 

143 



144 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Canary Islands. Galicia: Gallicia or Callaecia is the modern 
Galicia in N. W. Spain. Lusitania: approximately corresponding 
to Portugal. Temple of Hercules: this was on an island in the 
neighborhood of the town of Onoba (now called Huelva) in the 
province of Baetica. See Strabo 3, 5, 5, p. 170: els vtjctov 'HpaKKiovt 
iepav Kei/xivtjv Kara Tr6\iv 'Ovo^av rrjs 'IjSrjplas. Scipio's Monument: 
we are to understand by this the monumentum Caeponis in ipso 
man scopiilo magis quani insulac impositum (Mela, 3, i, 5; Strabo 3, 
I, 9, p. 140), near the mouth of the Baetis (now the Guadalquivir). 
Its mention here in connection with Galicia and Lusitania is 
perhaps due to a confusion with the promunturium sacrum (Cape 
St. Vincent). 

8. Baleares: the Balearic Islands. Mevania: Isle of Man? 
see Orosius i, 2, 82: hide (Ireland) etiam Mevania insula proximo 
est. Orcades: the Orkneys. Orosius i, 2, 78: a tergo (Britain) 
. . . Orcadas insulas habet, quorum viginti desertae sunt, tredecim 
cohmtur. 

9. Thule: Mainland, the largest of the Shetland Islands; or, 
according to others, Iceland. Mantuan bard: Vergil, Georgics 
I, 30: tibi scrviat ultima Thyle. Scandza: or Scandia, the 
Scandinavian peninsula. 

II 10. Livy tells: see Tacitus, Agricola 10: formam totius 
Britanniae Livius veterum, Fabius Rusticus reeentium eloquen- 
tissimi auctores oblongac scutulae vel bipenni adsimilavere . . . 
hanc cram novissimi maris tune primum Romano classis eircum- 
veeta insulani esse Britanniam affirmavit. Caesar: see Tacitus, 
Agricola 13: primus omnium Romanorum divus lulius cum exercitu 
Britanniam ingrcssus. 

11. face Gaul and Germany: Mela 3, 6, 50: (Britain) inter 
septentrionem occidentemque proieeta grandi angido Rheni ostia 
prospicit; dein obliqua retro latera abstrahit, altera Galliam altera 
Germaniam spectans; tum rursus perpetuo margine directi litoris ab 
tergore abducta iterum se in diversos angulos cuneat triquetra. 
See also Tacitus, Agricola 10: immensum . . . spatium procurren- 
tium extremo iam litore terrarum velut in cuneum tenuatur. 
stadia: Dio epit. 76, 12: Kal avrrjs (Britain) rb /x^v (itjkos <rrddioi 
eirraKiffxl^iOL Kal eKarbv TpiaKOvra 8vo elcrl, rod di Sr] irXdrovs rb n.iv irXelcTov 
d^Ka Kal TpiaKba-ioi Kal Sttrx^Xioi, rb S^ iXdxto'rov rpiaKda-Loi. 

12. the sea: see Tacitus, Agricola 10: mare pigriim et grave 
remigantibus perhibent ne ventis quidem perinde attolli, credo, quod 
rariores tenrae montesque, causa ac materia tempestatum, et pro- 
funda moles continui maris tardius impellitur . . , unum addiderim 
nusquam latius dominari mare. Strabo . . . relates: Strabo 
4, 5, 2, p. 200, Cas.: iv Si rait aWplais bp-ix^V Kar^x^i ■jroXvv xp^'">*'t 
ibffre di i]p,^pas 6\r}s iirl rpeis fiovov ^ rirrapas upas rds irepl rrjv fj.eaTjfjL^plai' 
bpdffOai rbv yfKiov. 



COMMENTARY 



145 



13. Cornelius . . . says: see Tacitus, Agricola 12: nox clara et 
extrema Britanniae parte brevis, ut finem atque initium lucis exiguo 
discrimine internoscas. more productive . . . pearls: Mela 3, 6, 
50. 51; fecunda, verum Us quae pecora qtiam homines benignhis 
alant. fert nemora saltusque ac praegrandia flumina alternis motibus 
modo in pelagus niodo retro fluentia et quaedam gemmas margari- 
tasque generantia. Caledonia: the Highlands in the northern 
part of Scotland. With this passage compare Tacitus, Agricola 
1 1 : rutilae Caledoniam habitantium comae, magni artus Germanicam 
originem adseverant. Silurum colorati vultus, torti plerumqiie crines 
et posita contra Hispania Iberos veteres traiecisse easque sedes occu- 
passe fidem faciunt. Also Tacitus, Histories 2,32: Gcrmanos . . . 
fluxis corporibus. 

14. alike wild: Mela 3, 6, 51: fert populos regesque populornm, 
sed sunt inciilti omncs. Dio . . . assures us: Dio epit. 76, 12: 
5^0 5k yivr] Tuv BpeTTavQv ixiyiffTa elcn, Kak-i)56vioi. Kai MaiaTaL. Kal is avra 
Kal TO. tCov dXXiav Trpoa-p-qfjMTa ws elireip <rvyKex^py]Kev. WOods are their 
home: so Strabo 4, 5, 2, p. 200: TrdXeis 5' avTQv elfftv ol dpvfiol 
■7repL(ppd^avT€s yap divSpeffi KaraPepXijfxivois evpvx'^prj kvkKov ivravOa Kal 
aiiTol KaXv^oTTOiovvrai Kal to, ^oaKri/xara KaTaffTadp-evovaLV ov wpbs ttoXuv xP^vov. 

They paint their bodies: Mela, 3, 2, 51.52: incertuni ob decorem an 
quid aliud vitro corpora infecti. causas tanien bellorum et bella con- 
trahunt ac se frequenter invicein infcstant, inaxime imperitandi cupi- 
dine studioque ea prolatandi quae possident. dinmcant non equitatu 
modo aut pedite, verum et bigis et cmrribus Gallice armati: covinnos 
vacant: quorum falcatis axibus utuntwr. See Claudianus de laud. 
Stilich. 2, 247: Britannia . . . ferro picta genas; in Rufin. I, 313: 
mcmbraque qui ferro gaiidct p-itixisse Gelonus. 

III. 16. above: see I 9. Ptolemaeus . . . made mention: Ptole- 

maeus 2, 11, ^2: Att avaroXwv 5k Trjs Xepaovi^aov riaaapes al KaXoO/jLevai 
'SiKavdlai, rpeii p.kv fj.iKpai, ... 34 : /xla 5i fj-eyicrrri Kal dpaToXiKwrdrr] /cord 
TttJ ^KjSoXds OmaTovXa iroTa/xov . . . 35 : KaXeirai di iSiws Kal ai/TT] i:,Kav5la. 

Mela . . . makes mention: Mela, 3, 3, 31: super Albim Codanus 
ingens sinus magnis paruisque insulis refertus est. The Codan Gulf 
appears to be the Kattegat. Mommsen is mistaken in saying 
(p. 58, note 2) de Scandia auctor tacet. In Mela 3., 6, 54, we read 
(as restored .by Muellenhofif) : in illo sinu quem Codanum diximus 
eximia Scandinavia. See Berliner 'Philologische Wochenschrift 14 
(1894), 1389. 

17. Sarmatian Mountains: the Carpathian range. Vagus: 
Muellenhofif (Weltkarte, p. 31) believes that this is the same 
stream called by the anonymous Geographer of Ravenna, 4, 11, 
the Bangis, and argues that as the Northmen called every stream 
that emptied into the Ocean vags flod, vdgs fioif, vags straumr, 
or something of the sort, the general term seems here to be 
used as a proper name. 



146 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

19. Ptolemaeus mentions: Ptolemaeus 2, 11, 35: Kal Kar^xo^- 
ffiv avTTJs TO. fi^v dvTiKo, (i ) XaiSeivoi, to. 5 draroXtxa (2) 'Pav6vai Kal (3) ^ipaijoi 
[ra. S^ dpKTiKO, (4) ^ivvoi], ra 5i fiecTr)p.ftpiva (5) Tqvtoi. Kal (6) AavKluves, to. 5i 
ij.4<ra (7) AevQvoi. Adogit: Muellenhofif thinks this name has been 
corrupted and we are to understand by it the Alogii or Halogii 
or Haleygir, the inhaibitants of Hdlogalandi, the most northern 
region of Norway, now known as Nordland, and extending be- 
yond the Arctic Circle. 

21. Screrefennae: according to Muellenhoff, this form of the 
name is used incorrectly by Jordanes for Scretefennae, Screthe- 
fennae, Scrithefenni or Scridifinni. Under this name he here in- 
cludes all men of Finnis'h race. See Procopius b. Goth., 2, 15: 
^Kpi.di(pivoi . . . oijre . . . avTol yjjv yewpyovcTLv oiire tl avrois al yvvaiKCi 
ipyd^ovrai, dXXd dvSpes del ^iiv rats yvvai^l ttjv 6-qpav p-ov-qv iiriTriSevov- 
rai. 67]pi(ov re yap Kal dWuv ^Vi^f fi^a ti xPVf^"' f*' '^^ h\ai avrois 
(pipovai, fxeydXai vTrepcpvQs oUffai, Kal rd 6pr], d ravT-g dv^xei. Kal Kpiafft. 
/j.iv drjplwv del tQv dXiaKOfi^vuv cirL^ovTai, rd S^p/xara 5i dp.<pUvvvvTai 
Paulus hist. Lang., i. 5: Scritofini . . . crudis agrestium animan- 
tium carnibus vescuntur, de quorum etiam hirtis pellibus sibi indu- 
menta peraptant. Suehans: see Zeuss: Die Deutschen und die 
Nachbarstamme (1837), p. 514. Thuringians . . . horses: see 
Cassiodorus var. 4, i : H erminafrido regi Thoringorum Theodoricus 
rex . . . indicamus nos venientibus legatis vestris . . . more gen- 
tium susccpissc . . . cquos argcnteo colore vcstitos. sapphire 
colored: a-awcpeipivos = like lapis lasuli; sables. 

22. Theustes . . . Ranii (24): these twenty-seven tribes are 
vaguely conceived as dwelling in a receding series of northern 
regions. 

24. Roduulf : Mommsen thinks he is to be identified with that 
King 'Po5oi!X0oy of the Heruli mentioned by Procopius (b. Goth., 
2, 14), who was forced ,by his tribe to make war on the Lom- 
bards in the third year of the emperor Anastasius (the year 
493), and was slain in battle. This same man may well have 
come to Theodoric at the time when he was in Moesia. namely 
before 489, and asked his protection. That he despised his own 
kingdom is probably an exaggeration of the Gothic historians. 

IV 25. Berig: the period of this earliest King of the Goths 
is thought by Muellenhofif to be not earlier than the first century 
of our era. Relying on Pliny (N. H., S7, 2 and 4, 14), Hodgkin 
argues (Italy and her invaders, 1892, I. I, 34), that the Goths were 
settled on the Baltic at least as early as 330 B.C., and possibly 
as early as the sixth century B.C. Gothiscandza: somewhere 
near the southeastern corner of the Baltic, probably not far from 
the modern city of Dantzig. 

26. abodes of the Ulmerugi: Zeuss (p. 484) thinks that the 



COMMENTARY 1 47 

Rugi who inhabited the shores of the Ocean, or rather the 
islands in the Vistula at its mouth, were called by the Goths 
Hulmariigeis, whence Ulmerugi. Savagner, in the notes to his 
French translation of the Getica, identifies "the aibodes of the 
Ulmerugi" with Pomerania and Mecklenburg. Vandals: we 
find mention of the Vandals as a people in the northern part of 
Germany as early as Tacitus (Gennania 2). Filimer: the date 
of this ki^g of the Goths is placed by Muellenhoff at about the 
beginning of the Scythian war in 238 A.D. Hodgkin (I. I, 40) 
favors 170 A.D., the time of the Marcomannic war, as the 
date when a part of the Goths migrated to the mouths of the 
Danube. 

27. Scythia . . . Oium: Ulfilas, according to Muellenhoff, 
would have written this word aujoni, dative plural of au, a familiar 
Teutonic root, meaning a watered meadow. He believes that 
the regions of Oium were probably in Volhynia among the 
streams that emptied into the Dnieper. 

28. Spali: a people near the Don? We should expect to hear 
of the Venethi rather than the Spali. Pliny (N. H., 6, 7, 22) 
mentions among other races the Spalaei who once crossed the 
Tanais. sea of Pontus: the Euxine or Black Sea. Ablabius: 
or Ablavius; see notes on the sources of Jordanes, p. 19. 

29. Josephus: see notes on the sources, p. 30. Magog: 
Josephus, antiquitates ludaicae, i, 6, i: Ma7c677js (the son of Japheth) 
5^ Toiis air aiiroO Ma7ai7as ovo fiaa 6 ivr as i^Kicre, '2iKv6as de vir' avrCiv 
(the Greeks) Trpoa-ayopevo/x^povs. Compare Isidorus Goth. laud. 66 
(from Cassiodorus?) : Gothorum antiquissima origo de Magog filio 
laphct fuit, iinde ct Scytharum genus extitit: nam iidem Gothi 
Scythica probantur origine sati, tinde nee longe a vocabulo discre- 
pant: demutata enim ac detracta littera Getae quasi Seythae sunt 
nuncupati. See also Etym., 9, i, 27: Magog a quo quidam arbit- 
rantur Scythas et Gothos traxisse originem. And 89: Gothi a Magog 
filio laphet nominati putantur de similitudine iiltimae syllabae, quos 
veteres magis Getas qtiam Gothos vocaverunt. 

V 30. river Ister: or Hister, the Danube; see V 31, and 
XXII, 114. Morsian Swamp: called also Mursianus lacus (V 
35), a swamp near Mursa in Pannonia (now Eszek). Tyra: 
Tyras is the Greek name for the Dniester, not a different stream. 
Danaster: the Dniester, a river forming the boundary between 
Dacia and Sarmatia. Vagosola: not elsewhere mentioned. 
But considering the order in which these rivers are named, it is 
clearly to be identified with the Hypanis, now called the Bug, a 
river of European Sarmatia. Danaper: elsewhere called Bory- 
sthenes (see V 44), the Dnieper, which like the other two streams 
mentioned above, empties into the Black Sea. Taurus range: a 



148 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

ridge in the Chersonesus Taurica, now the Crimea. Lake 
Maeotis: the Sea of Azov. Bosphorus: the Cimmerian Bos- 
P'horus, the outlet of the Sea of Azov. Araxes: a river of 
Armenia, now the Aras. like a mushroom: compare Cassio- 
dorus var. 3, 48: iina (of the mountain) graciliora sunt quant 
cacumina et in mollissimi fungi modo superius extenditur, cum 
inferiore parte tenuetur. Albani: the natives of Albania on the 
Caspian, now Schirwan. Seres: the Chinese. 

31. Persis: a country between Carmania, Media and Susiana, 
now Fars or Farsistan. Here the v^^ord seems to be used in a 
more general sense for Persia. Hiberia: or Iberia, near the 
Caucasus, now Georgia. 

32. Borysthenis, Olbia: the town of Olbia, a colony from 
Miletus, was situated at the mouth of the river Borysthenes. 
The expression Borithenide, Olbia, indicates that jbrdanes, fol- 
lowing his literary source for this passage, took these as the 
names of two towns. However it seems not unlikely that Borys- 
thenis and Olbia are merely two names for the same place 
(see Strabo, 7, 3, 17). There were several towns of Greek origin 
named Olbia, and Jordanes himself (Romana, 167) mentions an- 
other Olbia in Sardinia. Savagner (p. 360) incorrectly indexes 
Olbia on the Borysthenes under "Olbia (Terra Nuova) capitale 
de rile de Sardaigne." Callipolis: probably in the Tauric Cher- 
sonese. Cherson: on the Euxine, perhaps Eupatoria, a city of 
the Tauric Chersonese. Theodosia: a town of the Tauric Cher- 
sonese, now Cafifa or Feodosia. Careon: since this is placed 
between Theodosia and Myrmicion (see Strabo, 7, 4, 5, p. 310), 
t'he place meant is evidently Panticapaeum (now Kertsch), in 
the Tauric Chersonese. Myrmicion: also in the Tauric Cher- 
sonese. Trapezus: a city in Pontus, now Trebizond. Rhi- 
paeian mountains: a range of mountains supposed to be in the 
northern part of Scythia. Tanais: the river Don. See Orosius, 
I, 2, 4. 5 : Riphaci iiwntcs . . . Tanaim fltiviuin fundunt qui . . . 
Maeotidas augct paludes. 

33. Gepidae: see XVII 94-95 Tisia: the Patisus, a river 
of Hungary, now the Theiss. Flutausis: Mommsen t'hinks it 
probable that this river of Hungary is the same as the Aluta men- 
tioned by Jordanes in XII 74. 

34. Venethi: Muellenhofif upholds this spelling which he says 
is confirmed by the Gothic Vinithos. 

35. Noviodunum: in lower Moesia, probably the modern 
Isaktscha. 

36. Vidivarii: Muellenliofif says that this name (of which Vivi- 
darii in XVII 96, is a corrupt form), is a hybrid derived from the 
islands between the mout'hs of the Vistula and the adjacent 



COMMENTARY 1 49 

swamp. These were generally known by the Germans in the 
middle aiges as IVidland. 

37. Bulgares: this tribe, with the Antes and the Sclaveni, 
made raids into Thrace and Illyria in 549 and 550. See Jordanes 
Romana, 388, and Procopius Goth., 3, 40, p. 560 A. two hordes: 
but see Cassiodorus var. 3, 6: pullulat ex uno genere quadrifariam 
decus. Altziagiri: see Zeuss, p. 715 (Cutsiagiri). Sabiri: see 
Zeuss, p. 711, 715 (Saviri). Hunuguri: Zeuss, p. 712. 

38. in our city: probably Constantinople; see introduction, 
p. I'l. old wives' tales: with the fabulis anilibus oif the text 
compare the Vulgate, I. Tim., IV, 7: aniles fabiilas devita. 

39. Zalmoxes, or Zalmoxis: mentioned by Herodotus (4, 
94-96) as the reputed teacher of the Getae, who gave them the 
doctrine O'f immortality which he was supposed to have learned 
from Pythagoras. Even Herodotus doubts whether he was a 
historical character: c. 96, etre di iydverS ns ZdX/xo^ii dvdpuwos, etr 
icrrl dai/jLoov th T^Trjffi odros iirixi^pios x'^'-P^''''^ ! Apuleius {De Magia, 
26), refers to Zalmoxis as an ancient Thracian magician w'hose 
incantations and other utterances are mentioned by Plato. 
Zeuta: possibly Seuthes, v^^ho according to Suidas was the father 
of Abaris. Dicineus: the Ae/ca/yeos of Strabo, 7, 3, 5, p. 298; 
7, 3, II, P- 303. 

40. Die relates: Dio, 68, 9: iireir6iJL<pei niv (Decebahis) . . . Trp^o-^etj 

OVK fTL Twv KUfJLTjTwv ucwep wpdrepov, dXXd tQv irikocpbpdiv roiis apiarovs. But, 
as Mommsen remarks, Cassiodorus did not use the annals of 
Dio Cassius as much as the Getica of Dio Chrysostom, Who 
proibably gives a similar account, judging from his words in J2 
(2, p. 383, Reiske): evOa ivlore ^X^irovffiv dvdpwirovs rovs fi^v nvas irlXovt 
iirl rats Ke<pa\ats e'xocras, cbs vvv twv OpaKwv TLves rCov TerCjv Xeyo/xivuv. 
Pilleati: see XI 71. Vergil: Aen. 3, 35: Gradivumque patrem, 
Geticis qui praesidet arvis. 

42. Balthi: the Bold: see XXIX 146. Amali: see note on 
XIV, yBi, on the genealogy of this family. 

43. more . . . historian than , . . poet: Jordanes is here re- 
peating a literary commonplace; see Martial 14, 194; Servius ad 
Aen. I, 382; Isidorus orig., 8, 7, 10. They string Armenian 
bows: Lucan, Pharsal, 8, 221: Armeniosque arcus Geticis intendite 
ncrvis. In earliest times: ante quos in Mommsen's text seems 
impossible to translate with clearness of reference. So I follow 
the reading antiquitus. Eterpamara: Muellenhoff regards this 
as a very obscure word, probably not of Germanic origin. 
Fritigern: in all probability the leader of the Visigoths in the 
time of Emperor Valens. Vidigoia: the Gothic hero men- 
tioned in XXXIV 178. 

44. Orosius speaks: see Orosius, i, 14: Vesoses rex 



150 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Aegypti . . . Scythis bellum primus indixit . . . Scythae . . . Ve- 
sosem territum refugere in regnum cogunt ... c. 15: apud Scythas 
duo regii iiivencs Plynos et Scolopythus . . . ingentem iuventutem 
secum traxere . . . per insidias trucidantur. horuin uxores exilio 
ac viduitate permotae arnia sumunt . . . Amaconcs dictae. Veso- 
sis: Sesostris of Egypt, Rameses II, the Great. Tradition trans- 
formed him into that military hero whom the Greeks knew as 
S^ffwo-rpts (Herod. 2, IO2-I10) or Seo-owtris (Diod. Sic, I, 53-58), 
and to Whom they ascribed fabulous expeditions to Thrace and 
India. 

45. never solidified: see Mela, i, 19, 115: Tanais ex Riphaeo 
monte deicctus, adeo praeceps ruit, ut, cum vicina fliimina turn 
Maeotis et Bosphorus turn Ponti oliqua brumali rigore durenttir, 
solus aestus hiememque iuxta ferens idem semper et suhsimilis 
incitatusque decurrat. boundary of Asia and Europe: compare 
Orosius I, 2, 4, 52. 

46. as from its mother: Mela, 2, i, 7: Callipidas Hypanis in- 
cltidit: ex gratidi palude oritur, qtiam matrem eius accolae appellant 
et diu qualis natus est defluit. fish: Mela, 2, i, 6: Borysthenes . . . 
alit laetissimi pabula magnosque pisces, quibus et optimus sapor 
et nulla ossa sunt. iSolinus, 15, i : in quo (Borysthenes) pisces 
egregii saporis et quibus ossa nulla sunt nee aliud quam cartilagines 
tenerrimae. Exampaeus: Mela, 2, i, 7: tanfum nan longe a 
mari ex parvo fonte cui Exampheo cognomen est adeo amaras aquas 
accipit, ut ipse quoque iam sui dissimilis et non dulcis hinc defliiat. 
Asiaces proximus inter Callippidas Asiacasque descendit. Calli- 
pidae and Hypanis: these two towns at the mouth of the Danaper 
(or Borysthenes) are not to be identified with any other towns 
mentioned by Jordanes in V 32. For Callipidae, see Strabo, 
12, 3, 21, p. 550. Achilles: Mela, 2, 7, 98: Leuce Borysthenis ostio 
obiecta {insula) parva admoduni et quod ibi Achilles situs estj 
Achillea cognomine. 

VI 47, Tanausis: the reign of this contemporary of Vesosis 
(Sesostris) is assigned hy Gutschmid to 1323-1290 B.C. See 
chronological chart p. 38. Phasis: a river of Colchis, now 
the Rioni, emptying into the Black Sea. conquered ... all 
Asia: Asia Minor, of course. lustinus, i, i, 6: fuere . . .Vesosis 
Aegypti et Scythiae rex Tanaus, quorum alter in Pontum, alter 
usque Aegyptum excessit. 2, 3, 8: primus Scythis bellum indixit 
Vesosis rex Aegyptius . . . Scythae . . . legatis respondent . . . 
non expectaturos Scythas dum ad se veniatur . . . nee dicta res 
morata . . . rex . . . in fugam vertitur . . . Scythas ab Aegypto 
paludes prohibuere. inde r ever si Asiani perdomitam vectigalem 
fecere. Sornus: as there is no mention of Sornus in Justin's 
narrative, this statement may have been taken from Pompeius 
Trogus directly, either by Jordanes or his source. 



COMMENTARY I5I 

48. Pompeius Trogus says: see the epitome of Trogus in 
lustinus, 2, I, 3: cum ipsi (Scythae) Parthos Bactrianosque, fetni- 
nae autem eoriim Amazonum regno condidcrint. Compare Arrianus 
Parth. (in Photius cod. 58): Tldpdovs 5i (prja-ip eTrl liter ih<TTpi.5oi toO 
AlyviTTicov ISaaiX^us Kai'lavSvffov (^Trogus vea.d T^avaijcov) tov 'EkvOQv dirb 
T^s cr0wv xwpas Sku^^os et's T-fji* wy ^erot/c'^o-at. See discussion of sources, 
p. 30. Parthi: lustinus, 41, i, 1.2: Parthi . . . Scytharum exules 
fuere. hoc etiam ipsorum vocabitlo manifestatinr, nam Scythico ser- 
mone exules Parthi dicuntur. 

VII. 49. Lampeto and Marpesia: lustinus, 2, 4, 12-14: duae his 
(Amasonibus) reginae fuere Marpesia et Lampeto, quae in duas 
partes agmine diviso . . . vicihus gerebant Bella, soli terminos aU 
ternis defendcntes . . . itaque maiore parte Europae subacta Asiae 
quoque nonnullas civitates occupavere. Compare Oros., i, 15. 

50. Vergil: Aen., 6, ^yi-.quam si dura silex aut stet Marpesia 
cautes. But Vergil is referring to the mountain in the island 
of Paros, where the marble quarries were. Servius on Aen. 6, 
471. Caspian Gates: the Sirdar pass. Lazi: a truce with 
Persia concluded in S45 was broken in 549 by the Romans who 
gave assistance to their former dependents, the Lazi (inhabi- 
tants of ancient Colchis), in their war with Persia. For the 
Lazic war see Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire I 441. 

51. Halys: a large river of Asia Minor flowing into the Black 
Sea, now called the Kyzyl-irmak. Gangra: a city of Paphla- 
gonia, afterwards called Germanicopolis, now Kiankari. they 
built a . . . temple for Diana: this tradition of a shrine to 
Artemis built by the Amazons is found in many classical writers. 
From the excavations of Mr. David Hogarth, who thoroughly 
explored the site in 1904-1905, it appears that no less than five 
temples of Artemis were successively erected on the spot w^here 
the ruins are still found to-day. The fourth, or last but onie, 
is that mentioned by Herodotus (i, 92), toward which Croesus is 
said to have contributed columns. It was in building in the year 
550 B.C. The last and greatest, .which ranked as one of the 
seven wonders of the world, was begun about 350 B.C., and it 
was this which was sacked in the year 262 A.D. hy the Goths, 
as mentioned by Jordanes in XX 107. (See The Archaic Arte- 
misia, David Hogarth, London, 1908.) With this passage com- 
pare lustinus, 2, 4, 14.15 (Amasones) maiore parte Europae 
subacta Asiae quoque nonnullas civitates occupavere: ibi Epheso 
multisque aliis urbibus conditis. Compare Orosius, i, 15. 

52. a hundred years: see Orosius, i, 16: mulieres patria profugae 
Europam atque Asiam . . . intraverunt pervagatae sunt deleverunt : 
centum paene annis . . . tenucrunt . . . (Gothorum) feminae maio- 
rem terrarum partem immensis caedibus deleverunt. came back: 



152 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

lustinus, 2, 4, 14.15: partem excrcitus cum ingenti pracda donium 
dimittuut. Compare Orosius, i, 15. have . . . mentioned: see VII 
SO. Caucasus mounteiins: see Solinus 38, 10: mons Taurus ab 
Indico primmn mari surgit ... § 12: . . . nominatiis . . .ubi in 
excelsissimam consurgit sublimitatem Caucasus ... § 13: quantus 
meridiem zndct, sole inaestuat; quidquid septemtrioni oppositum est. 
vento tunditur et pruina. 

53. Vasianensian region: some part of Armenia is meant, per- 
haps the Bao-iXio-T/ci? of -Ptolomaeus 5, 13, 13. Red Sea: the 
Persian Gulf. 

54. the Araxes: see note on V 30. the Cyrus: now the 
Kur, a river emptying into the Araxes. the Cambyses, the 
Jora, a little river of Albania w'hich empties into the Cyrus. 
cut by this river: the Ister or Danube cuts throug*h the mountain 
ranges at the Iron Gates. Mommsen regards Histri in the text 
as incorrect geographically, though supported by all the manu- 
scripts. He thinks the Danapcr, and not the Ister, is the river 
here meant. At any rate, Jordanes does not say so. in Scythia 
is named Taurus also: that is, in the Tauric Chersonese, or 
Crimea ; see note on V 30. 

55. Caspian Gates: see note on VII 50. Armenian . . . 
Cilician: see Solinus 2>^, 13: ubi dehiscit hiulcis iugis, facit portas, 
quorum primae sunt Armeniae, turn Caspiae, post Ciliciae. Imaus: 
the Himalaya range. Paropamisus: a mountain chain of cen- 
tral Asia, now the HindiJkusch. Choatras: mountains of Assy- 
ria and Media. Niphates: part of the Taurus range in Ar- 
menia, the modern Ala-dagh. Compare also Solinus 38, 12: pro 
gentium ac linguarum varietate plurifariam nominatus apud Indos 
lamus, max Propanisus. Choatras apud Parthos, post Niphates, 
inde Taurus atque ubi in excelsissimam consurgit sublimitatem Cau- 
casus, interea etiani a populis appellationem trahit. 

VIII 56. destroying the life: lustinus 2, 4, 9. 10. 11. ne genus 
interirct, concubitus finitimorum ineunt. si qui mares nascerentur, 
interficiebant: lirgines in eundem ipsis morem . . . armis equis 
venationibus exercebant. Compare Orosius i, 15. 

57. Hercules: lustinus, 2, 4, 21-24: Hercules ad litus Amaso- 
num adplicuit, . . . multae . . . caesae captaeque, in his Mela- 
nippe ab Hercule, Hippolyte a Thcseo . . . Theseus obtenta in 
praemium captiva eandem in matrimonium adsumpsit et ex ea 
genuit Hippolytum. Compare Orosius i, 15. Penthesilea: 

Orosius I, 15: post Orithyiam Penthesilea regno potita est cuius 
Troiano bello clwrissima inter viros documenta virtutis accepimus. 
Compare lustinus 2, 4, 31. the time of Alexander the Great: 
lustinus 2, 4, 2>2: inte^fecta deinde Penthesilea . . . paucae quae 
in regno remanserant . . . usque ad tempora Alexander magni 
duraverunt. 



COMMENTARY 153 

IX 58. we have proved in a previous passage: Jordanes says 
nothing of this in a previous passage in .the Getica, though in 
V 40 he uses the words Gothi and Gaetae interchangeably. 
testimony of Orosius Paulus: see Orosius i, 16: modo autem 
Getae illi, qui et nunc Gothi. Telefus: see Dictys 2, 4: {Tele- 
phus) Hcrcule genitus procerus corpore ac pollens viribus divinis 
patriis virtutibus propriam gloriam ae quip ar aver at. c. 3: Teuthra- 
nius Teuthrante et Auge genitus f rater Telephi iiterinus. c. 5: 
Astyochen enim Priami iunctam sibi (Telepho) matrimonio. 
Quintus of Smyrna (6, 135) agrees with Jordanes in saying that 
Astyoche was the sister, not the daughter, of Priam. 

59. Moesia: see Dictys 2, i : Telephus . . . turn Moesiae im- 
pcrator erat. Histria: a country on the eastern shore of the 
Adriatic Sea, afterwards included in the tenth region of Augus- 
tus. Compare Orosius i, i, 55: Moesia ab oriente habet ostia 
fluminis Danuvii, ab euro Thraciam, a meridie Macedoniam, ab 
Africa Dalmatiam, ab occasu Histriam, a cvrcio Pannoniam, a 
septentrione Damanum. 

60. Thesander: or Thersander. See Dictys 2, 2; in ea pugna 
Thessandrus . . . congressus cum Telepho ictusque ab eo cadit . . . 
c. 3: Teuthranius . . . f rater Telephi uterinus . . . tela cius 
(Ajax) occubuit. eius casu Telephus . . . perculsus . . . fugafis 
qtios adversum ierat cum obstinate Vlixem inter znneas . . . inseqiie- 
retur, praepeditus trunci vitis ruit . . . Achilles . . . teluin iaculatus 
femur sinistrtim regi traiisfigit. c. lO: Telephus . . . cum nulla 
remedio mederi posset. Also Eustathius Schol. Iliad, i, 59: 
6 5k TijXe^os . . . wiirovde fjAv rpav/xa deivbu vwh 'AxtXX^ws, dfxTriXov iXiKi 
(TvinroSiadivTos avrip tov 'itnrov . . . /cat TrecSfTos eis yiiv. Eurypylus: see 
Dictys 2. 5: Astyochen . . . Priami iunctam sibi (Telephus) matri- 
monio, ex qua Eurypylus genitus. he was killed: see Dictys 
4, 14: nuiitius Priamo supervenit Eurypylum Telephi ex Moesia ad- 
ventare, quern rex . . . oblatione desponsae Cassandrae confirma- 
verat. In c. 17, 18 Dictys tells how Eurypylus was slain by 
Neoptolemus and his bones sent back to his father. 

X 61. almost exactly six hundred and thirty years: see 
chronological chart p. 39. According to Gutschmid, Jordanes 
had in mind the year of the acces3ion of Cyrus, even though he 
relates the events of the last year of his reign. In this way we 
get a period of six hundred and thirty-one years, 1190-559 B.C. 
Pompeius Trogus relates: see lustinus i, 8: Cyrus subacta 
Asia . . . Scythis bellum infert. erat eo tempore regina Scytharum 
Tomyris, quae . . . cum prohibere cos transitu Oaxis fluminis 
posset, transire permisit . . . itaque Cyrus traiectis copiis . . . 
castra metatus est . . . Cyrus . . . omncs . . . Scythas cum re- 
ginae filio interfecit . . . (Tomyris) compositis in montibus insidiis 



154 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

ducenta milia Pcrsarum cum ipso rege triicidavit. Compare Orosius 
2, 7. as I have said: in the last sentence above, "Tomyris, 
queen of the Getae." Observe that Mommsen's comment non 
dixit antea is cancelled in his table of corrigenda. 

62. Lesser Scythia: a district of Moesia, bordering on the 
Black Sea, now Dobrudja. Tomi: famous as the place of 
Ovid's banishment, now^ Kostendje in Bulgaria. 

63. Antyrus: see Orosius 2,8: Darius . . . Antyro rcgi Scytha- 
riim hac vel maxime causa bellum intulit, quod filiae eius petitas sibi 
nuptias non ohtinuisset . . . cum scpiingentis milibus armatorum 
Scythiam ingressus . . . metuens, ne sibi reditus interrupto ponte 
Histri fluminis negaretur, amissis LXXX milibus bcllatorum tre- 
pidus rcfugit. The corrupt form of the name Antyrus (the 
'IMvdvpffos of Herodotus 4, 76) shows that Jordanes drew upon 
Orosius rather than upon the very similar account given by 
lustinus 2, 5, 8-10. Chalcedon: or Calchedon, now Kadikoi, a 
town in Bithynia on the Sea o'f Marmora, directly opposite Con- 
stantinople. Byzantium: the ancient eity upon whose site 
Constantinople was afterwards built. Tapae: not definitely 
located, but apparently near the Danube. The place is men- 
tioned by Dio Cassius 67. 10 and 68.8. 

64. Xerxes: see Orosius 2,9: Xerxes septingenta milia arma- 
torum, de regno et trecento milia de auxiliiSj rostratas etiam naves 
mille ducentas, onerarias autem tria milia numero habuisse narra- 
tur. See also lustinus 2, 10, 18-20. 

65. Medopa, the daughter of King Gudila: Satyrus in Athe- 
naeus 13, 15 p.S57 d speaks of 1^061^X05 6 rlhv Opq.Kuiv ^aaiXevs. For 
Medopa see Stephanus on the word Terla: 'ian Kal OtjXvkQs F^tis • 
o'vTws yap iKoKeiTo i) yvvrj rod ^iKlTrirov tov Afivvrov, Satyrus in Athe- 
naeus 13, 5 p. 557 d calls her MT^Sa. Odessus: a city of lower 
Moesia on the Black Sea, now Varna. 

66. Sitalces . . . Perdiccas: according to Thucydides (2, 98), 
in the year 429 B.C. Sitalces, King of the Odrysae concluding an 
alliance with the Athenians, undertook an expedition against 
King Perdiccas II of Macedon and sent against him an army 
of 150,000 men. Thucydides also mentions the Getae (2. 96): 
avlarricrev . . . roiis vwepfiavTi Alfiov Tiras Kal 6cra &\\a fi^prj ivrbi toC 
Icrrpov TTOTap-ov 7rp6s ddXaaaav fxaWov rrjv tov ^v^eivov TrbvTov KaTc^KTjTo ■ eicrl 
5* ol r^Tttt Kal oi TavTxi S/xopolre toIs Ski^^ois Kal o/xdcrKevot Trdvres iiriroTO^bTai. 
Mommsen believes that this information was also found in Dio 
Chrysostom's Getica and that Cassiodorus took it from this 
source. But Jordanes, following Cassiodorus, confuses Per- 
diccas II, against whom Sitalces made war in 429 B.C., with the 
other Perdiccas, the general and successor of Alexander the 
Great a century later, and regarding 'him as in a way the ruler 



COMMENTARY 155 

of Athens, inverts the part played by t'he Athenians in that war. 
Alexander: Orosius 3, 20: Alexander apiid Babylomam cum . . . 
ministri insidiis vencnum potasset, interiit. 

XI 67. Buruista: see Strabo 7, 3, 5 p. 298; 7, 3, 11 p. 303; 
16, 2, 39 p. 762. Hodgkin (I. I 96) says Buruista is perhaps the 
same as Boerebislas, a king of Dacia in the time of Augustus. 
Sulla: with Sulla's dictatorship (82-79 B.C.) we have the first 
definite reference in the Getica to historical Roman times. the 
Franks now possess: Chlodwig (Clovis) had defeated the Ala- 
manni in 496. [Bury (I 284) gives the date as 492.] 

68. islands . . . beyond our world: so the Romans regarded 
Britain. unable to prevail against the Goths: see Orosius 
I, 16: Caesar . . . declinavit (the Getae). 

6g. belagines: Muellenhoff argues from the chronicles of 
Icidorus that the Goths had no written laws before the reign 
of Eurich (466-485), and thinks that Jordanes or Cassiodorus has 
given the Goths credit for a thing told by Dio of the Getae. 
twelve signs: of the Zodiac. With this whole passage (XI 69- 
70) compare what Athalaric writes to Cassiodorus, var. 9, 24: 
(King Theodoric) cum essct publica cura vacuains, scntentias pru- 
dentum a tuis fabulis exigebat . . . stellarum cursus, maris sinus, 
fontium miracula rimator acutissimus inquirebat, ut rerum, naturis 
diligenfius perscrutatis quida)ii purpuratus znderetur esse philosophus. 

72. Capillati: see Cassiodorus var. 4, 49: universis provincialibus 
et capillatis, defensoribus et curialibus Siiavia consistentibus Theo- 
dericus rex. 

73. Comosicus . . . Coryllus: these Gothic kings do not seem 
to be mentioned elsewhere in ancient literature. But Gutschmid 
{Prosop agraphia imperii Romani p. 473, 1244) conjectures that 
Coryllus should be Scoryllus, citing Frontinus Stratogematon 
I, ID, 4: Scorylo dux Dacot'um. 

XII 73. ancient Dacia: Dacia was the name applied origin- 
ally to the region which lies between the Danube, the Theiss, the 
Carpathians and the Pruth, extending over part of modern Hun- 
gary, Wallachia and Moldavia, with Transylvania as its central 
district. The Dacians under Decebalus were defeated by Trajan 
in 102 and 107, in campaigns still commemorated at Rome by 
Trajan's column, and their country became a Roman province. (On 
the limits of the Roman province of Dacia, see Hodgkin in the Eng- 
lish Historical Review II, 100-103.) Aurelian (270-275) finally 
abandoned it, settling its inhabitants in a new province which he 
likewise named Dacia. This new Dacia was created from parts 
of Moesia Superior and Inferior (Hist. Aug., Vita Aureliani 39), 
and consisted of the eastern half of Servia and the western end 
of Bulgaria. It was eventually divided into Dacia Ripensis, with 



156 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

its Capital at Ratiaria on the Danube, and Dacia Mediterranca 
with its capital at Serdica, modern Sofia (the capital of Bul- 
garia). After the disruption of Attila's empire in 454 Dacia, 
namely that part of Hungary Which lies east and north of the 
Danube, fell to the lot of the Gepidae under Ardaric. 

74, Boutae: not mentioned elsewhere. Possibly a corruptiTn 
of Pons (Augusti). See Jung, Romer und Romanen in den 
Donaulandern (Innsbruck 1887) p. 118 n. 2. Roxolani: a 
people dwelling between the rivers Don and Dnieper. lazy- 
ges: a Sarmatian people on the Danube. Sarmatians: a great 
Slavic people dwelling from the Vistula to the Don, in the 
modern Poland and Russia. Bastemae: they dwelt in the 
lands along the upper reaches of the Vistula north of the Car- 
pathian mountains. Aluta: a river of Hungary, now the Alt. 
The Roxolani here mentioned by Jordanes are the Rhoxolani, 
Sarmatica gens of Tacitus, Histories i, 79. 

75. Alamanni: German tribes w'ho formed a confederation 
on the upper Rhine and Danube, and from whom the nation 
got its name. Compare the French Allemagne. sixty streams: 
see Ammianus 22, 8, 44: Danuvius . . . sexaginta nazngabilcs paene 
recipiens fluvios. Bessi: a savage race in Thrace, near the 
Haenius mountains, and in the vicinity of the river Hebrus. 
Bury (II 15) states that the Bessi or Satri, in the region of 
R'hodope, remained longest a corporate nation in the presence 
of Roman influences. In the fourth century they were converted 
to Christianity, and a hundred years later still held the churcli 
service in their own tongue. except the Nile: Mela 2, i, 8: 
Hister . . . ingens iam et eorum qui in nostrum mare decidunt 
taiitum Nilo minor: and see Sallust, in Gellius 10, 7, i. 

XIII 76. Oppius Sabinus . . . governor . . . after Agrippa: 
Fonteius Agrippa was governor of Moesia in 69-70 (Tacitus, His- 
tories 3, 46 and Josephus Bell. lud. 7, 4, 3), and lost his life 
resisting an attack of the Sarmatae. Oppius Sabinus (about 85 
or 86) did not succeed him directly, as Jordanes seems to imply, 
for there were at least four governors in between. (See Stout, 
The Governors of Moesia, Princton, 191 1, p. 21, n. 51). Sabinus 
was consul in 84, probably went to Moesia as governor the fol- 
lowing year, and was killed in 85 or 86. Dorpaneus: the Diur- 
paneus of Orosius 7, 10, 4. From Petrus Patricius fr. 4 (4, 185 
Muell.) it is clear that he is to be identified with Decebalus, 
the famous Dacian leader. 

77. Domitian hastened: upon the death of Sabinus Domitian 
set out in person for the Danube, but gave Cornelius Fuscus, 'his 
pracfectiis praetorio, charge of the war. See Suetonius 
Domitian 6. 



COMMENTARY 157 

78. slew Fuscus: see Eutropius 7, 23, 4. Ansis: merely 
another and more heroic name of the Amali, the royal stock of 
the Goths. Jacob Grimm o'bserves that this is the same word as 
the Aesir of the Northmen. genealogy: see the chart on page 41. 
Compare also with this chapter XLVIII 246 onward and LVIII 
297 onward. 

XIV 81. its proper place: this is done in XL 315. 
82. we have said: in V 38 and 42. 

XV 83. As already said: in V 38. Alexander: he reigned 
from 222-235 A.D. Symmachus relates: see Literary Sources 
p. 2)2, and compare lulii Capitolini Maximini duo, i : Maxi- 
minus . . . dc vico Threiciae . . . batrbaro . . . patre et matre geni- 
tus, quorum alter e Gothia, alter ex Alanis genitus esse perhibetur: 
et patri quidem nomen Micca, matri Hababa fuisse dicitur. Also 
c 4: amatus est . . . unice a Getis quasi eorum civis. And see 
Romana 281. Alani: a very warlike nomadic Scythian nation, 
ranging from the Caucasus to the Tanais and north of the 
Caspian. After 406 Alans seems to have dwelt on the Loire. 
(Bury L 167, note i.) 

84. military games: vita Maximini 2: et in prima quidem 
pueritia fuit pastor . . . natali Getac filii minoris, Severus militares 
dabat ludos propositis praemiis argenteis . . . hie adulescens et 
semibarbarus et vix adhuc Latinae linguae, prope Thraecica im- 
peratorem publice petiit, ut sibi darct licentiam contendendi cum his, 
qui iam non mediocri loco militarent. 

85. eight feet: vita 2: mcignitudinem corporis Severus miratus 
c. 6: erat magnitudine tanta, ut octo pedes digito vidcretur egressus. 
Compare vita Maximini iun. c. 2. camp followers: vita 2: 
primiim cum cum lixis composuit . . . ne disciplinam militarem 
corrumperet. threw sixteen: vita 2: tunc Maximinus sedecim 
lixas uno sudore dcvicit sedecim acceptis praemiis . . . iussusque 
militare. cavalry: vita 2: prima stipendia eqiiestria huic fuere. 
On the third day: vita 3: tertia forte die cum processisset Severus 
ad campum, in turba exultantem more barbarico Maximinum vidit 
iussitque statim tribuno, ut cum coerceret ac Romanam disciplinam 
imbueret. tunc ille iibi de se intellexit imperatorem locutum . . ,. 
ad pedes imperatoris equitantis accessit. turn . . . Severus . . . 
equum admisit multis circumitionibus et cum . . . imperator laboras- 
set neque ille a cnrrendo per multa spatia desisset. 

86. my little Thracian: vita 3: 'quid vis, Thracisce? num quid 
delectat luctari post cursumf turn 'quantum libet,' inquit, 'imperator.' 
post hoc ex equo Severus descendit et recentissimos quosque ac 
fortissimos milites ei comparari iussit. turn ille more solito septem 
fortissimos uno sudore vicit solusque omnium a Severo post 
axrgentea praemia torque aureo donatus est iussusque inter stipa- 
tores corporis semper in aula consistere. 



158 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

87. he was cin officer: vita 4: diu sub Antonino Caracalla ordines 
duxit, centuriatus et ceteras militares dignitates saepe tractavit. 
when Macrinus became emperor: vita 4: sub Macrino, quod eum, 
qui imperatoris stti filium occiderat, vehementer odisset, a militia 
dcsiit. c. 5: Maximinus . . . tribunus. 

88. Heliogabalus: or Elagaibalus; vita 4: occiso Macrino . . . 
ubi Heliogabalum quasi Antonini filium imperatorem comperit, . . . 
ad eum venit. Alexander the son of Mamaea: vita 5: quern 
Alexander miro cum gaudio . . . suseepit. Mogontiacum: Ma- 
yence or Mainz. Aquileia: see Orosius 7, 18: (Alexander) 
militari tumultu aptid Moguntiacum interfectus est. c. 19: 
. . . Maximinus . . . nulla senatus voluntate imperator ab exer- 
citu . . . creatus persecutionem in Christianas . . . exercuit. sed 
. . . tertio quam regnabat anno a Pupieno Aquileiae interfectus. 
Aquileia is a town in Triest, at the northern end of the Adriatic, 
still called Aquileia. For the story of its siege and capture by 
Attila, see XLII 219 onward. 

XVI 89. Marcomanni: a Germanic people, a portion of the 
tribe of the Suevi, who after their defeat by Drusus moved from 
the Rhine and Main to the country of the Boii (Bohemia), 
Quadi: a Germanic people in the modern Moravia. one thou- 
sandth year: so Hieronymus on the year of Abraham 2262, the 
second of Philip's reign: regnantibus Philippis millesimus annus 
Romanae urbis expletus est. received annual gifts: Rome was 
willing to pay the Goths and other barbarian tribes subsidies 
called stipendia, and given as pay; but the receiver might easily 
come to regard them as given for tribute. 

90. the senator Decius: he reigned as emperor from 249-251. 
Ostrogotha: see genealogical chart, p. 41, and XVII 98-100. 

91. Taifali: neig'hbors of the Goths, once settled near the 
Danube in Dacia. Zeuss p. 433. Astringi: better Asdingi; see 
XXII 113 and Zeuss 461. Probably neighbors of the Taifali. 
Carpi: a people on the Danube in Dacia, Zeuss p. 697. They 
were subdued by Diocletian and Galerius in 295 and transported 
to Pannonia. (Bury I ^2.) Galerius . , . conquered them: see 
Orosius 7, 25, 12: per eosdem duces (Diocletian and Galerius) 
strenue adversus Carpos Basternasque pugnatum est. Peucini: 
the inhabitants of Pence, a pine-covered island (peuce, TrevKTj = 
pine-tree), the delta of the Danube. Argaith: see Scriptores 
Historiae Augustae XX Gordiani tres 31, i: Imperavit Gordianus 
annis sex atque dum haec agerentur Argunt Scytharum rex finiti- 
morum regna vastabat. Muellenhofif regards Argaith as the 
correct form. Guntheric: see The Cambridge Mediaeval His- 
tory, I. 203. 

92. Marcianople: in Lower Moesia, near the Euxine; the 



COMMENTARY 1 59 

great city built by Trajan on the north slope of the Balkans, 
now represented by Pravadi, near Schumla. (Hodgkin I. I. 50). 

93. Potamus: the river Panysus? The anonymous Geogra- 
pher of Ravenna (4, 6 p. 185) follows Jordanes: per quam Marcia- 
nopolim medio transit fluviiis qui dicitur Potamia. his sister: 
Marciana, Ammianus 27, 4, 12: Mysia, ubi Marcianopolis est a 
sorore Traiani principis ita cognominata. 

XVII 94. in the beginning: see IV 25. three ships: this 
is the first and only mention Jordanes makes of the number of 
the s'hips. 

95. gepanta: Muellenhoff rejects this derivation of the name 
Gepidac. 

96. Spesis: otherwise unknown. Holder {lordanis, De Origine 
Actihusque Getarum, Freiburg 1882) would read dum spes is pro- 
v-incia. Vividarii: see note on Vidivarii, V 36. Gepedoios: 
Muellenhoff points out that here is the nominative plural of the 
same word met before in IV 27, Oium, that is, the Meadozvs, the 
native name for Scythia. He calls attention also to the German 
au or aue which has the same meaning. Gepedoios thus means 
the Gepid Meadows. 

97. Fastida: apparently unknown outside this account. Jor- 
danes mentions also as kings of the Gepidae Ardaric (XXXVIII 
199), Thraustila, and Thrasaric (LVIII 300). Burgundians: a 
northern tribe who dwelt between the Oder and the Vistula. 

99. Galtis: Mommsen suggests for this town the Transyl- 
vanian Gait on the river Aluta. It is not mentioned elsewhere. 
(Hodgkin I. I 51.) 

XVIII loi. Cniva: Gutschmid identifies him with Ovida, the 
grandfather of King Geberich (mentioned by Jordanes in XXII 
113) and Cannaba or Cannaibaudes, the leader of the Goths in 
the reign of Aurelian (vita Aurel. 22). See also The Cambridge 
Mediaeval History, I. 203. Euscia: Euscia or Novae is the 
modern Novo-grad on the Danube, about thirty-four miles above 
Rustchuk. (Hodgkin I. I 52.) Gallus: C. Vibius Trebo- 
nianus Gallus, governor of Moesia Inferior in 251 and Emperor 
from 251-253. See XIX 104. Stout (The Governors of Moesia, 
p. 248) regards the title dux limitis (XVIII 102) as as anachron- 
ism. Nicopolis: apparently Nikup on the Jantra, the ancient 
latrus, a tributary of the Danube. the regions of Haemus: the 
Balkans. PhilippopoUs: in modern times the capital of East- 
ern Roumelia. 

102. Beroa: Augusta Traiana, a city about eighty-seven miles 
northwest of Hadrianople, now Eski-Zaghra. Oescus: a city 
•on the Danube, near the mouth of a river of the same name. 

103. took PhilippopoUs: it is interesting to compare with this 



l60 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

chapter the account given by Ammianus 31, 5, 15: duobus navium 
milibus pcrrupto Bosporo et litoribns Propontidis Scythicarum 
gentium catervac transgressae edidcruut quidem acerbas terra ma- 
rique strages, scd amissa suoruni parte maxima reverterunt, ceciderunt 
dimicando cum barbaris impratores Decii pater et filius . . . 
Anchialos capta et tempore eodem Nicopolis, quam indicium victoriae 
contra Dacos Traianus condidit imperator. post clades acceptas in- 
latasque multas et saevas excisa est Philippopolis centum hominum 
milibus, nisi fingunt annates, intra moenia iugulatis. allied him- 
self to Priscus: then governor of Macedonia (Lucio Frisco qui 
Macedonas praesidatu regebat, Aurelius Victor de Caes. 29) and 
a brother of the late Emperor Philip. This appears to be the 
first attempt on the part of the Goths to create an anti-emperor. 
(Hodgkin I. I 53.) the son of Decius: see Cassiodorus chr. 
ad. a. 252: Decius cum filio suo in Abritio Thraciae loco a Gothis 
occiditur. He substitutes these words for the following sen- 
tence of Prosper: Decius cum filio in Abritto, quae est civitas 
Mysiae, occiditur. Abrittus: otherwise called Forum Thembronii 
or Terebronii, but its site is unknown. It was probably some- 
wliere in the marshy ground near the mouth of the Danube 
(Hodgkin I. I 56). cut off . . . and slain: Hodgkin remarks 
(I. I. 56) that this is one of three great disasters that foretold 
the final overthrow of Rome. The other two were the defeat 
of Varus in A.D. 9 and the Battle of Hadrianople, A.D. 378. 
(See XXVI 138.) 

XIX 104. plague: see Hieronymus on the year of Abralham 
2269: pcstilcns morbus multas totius orbis provincias occupavit 
maximeque Alexandriam et Aegyptum, iit scribit Dionysius et Cy- 
priani de mortalitate testis est liber. nine years ago: in 542. On 
the date, see introduction, p. 13. For an account of this plague 
see Bury I. 399-403. Dionysius: Bishop of Alexandria 248- 
265; see Eusebius, hist. eccl. 7, 22. Cyprian: Thascius Caecilius 
Cyprianus (d. 258), Bishop of Carthage, who was martyred in 
the persecution started by Decius. 

106. universal . . . favor: see Orosius 7, 21, 6: hac sola pemicie 
(the plague) insignes Callus et Volusianus. 

107. Respa, Veduc and Thuruar: otherwise unknown. as 
we said before: in VII 51. Cornelius Avitus: not the 
Emperor Avitus. The Emperor, who reigned 455-456 A.D. [see 
XLV 240], was named Marcus Maecilius Avitus. the royal 
city: Constantinople. 

XX 108. Troy and Ilium: Jordanes oddly takes these as 
the names of two distinct cities and speaks of them as "re- 
covering a little" (in A.D. 259 ±) from the Trojan War! 
Thrace: it will be noticed that Jordanes names the places at- 



COMMENTARY l6l 

tacked by the Gotlis in a different order than Ammianus in the 
passage cited above (note on XVIII 103). 

109. Anchiali: the authors cited in Step'hanus and Suidas 
(s.v. 'A7x'tiX'?), say it was not this city in Moesia but Anchiale in 
Cilicia that was founded by Sardanapahis. 

XXI no. to aid the Romans: after the disastrous campaign 
of 296 in which Galerius (the "Caesar Maximian" of Jordanes) 
was 'hum,bled on the ill-omened field of Carrhae, a considerable 
number of Gothic auxiliaries was taken into the Roman forces, 
and the Imperial armies again marched against Narses of Persia. 
This time, whether mainly "by their aid," as Jordanes says, 
or not, the Romans were victorious (297). [Gibbon I. 370. 
Bury's ed. of 1896.] Narseus: or Narses. Sapor the Great: 

this was the Persian king who captured the Emperor Valerian 
in 260 and kept him prisoner until his death in 265. Achilles: 
or Ac'hilleus (292-296); he arose as a usurper in Alexandria. 
Maximianus Herculius: this is the Emperor Maximian, the col- 
league of Diocletian. Quinquegentiani: a confederation of 
five Moorish nations invaded the peaceful provinces of Africa 
in 296, 297. With this last section compare Orosius 7, 25: 
rehellante . . . Achillea in Aegypto cum et Africam Quinquegen- 
tiani infestarcnt, Narseus etiam rex Persarum Orientem hello 
premeret . . . Maximianus Augustus Qiiinqucgentianos in Africa 
domuit, porro autem Diocletianus Achilleum . . . apud Alexan- 
driam cepit et iiiterfccit . . . Galerius Maximianus . . . per Illy- 
ricuin et Moesiam iDidique capias cantraxit . . . Narseum magnis 
cansiliis viribusque superavit . . . castra eius invasit, uxores soro- 
res liberosque cepit, immensam vim gasae Persicae diripuit. 

111. Licinius: he had been elevated to the rank of Augustus 
by the Emperor Galerius in 307, app:arently without passing 
throug'h the intermediate rank of Caesar. The first quarrel be- 
tween Constantine and Licinius — then respectively masters of the 
West and the East — occurred in 314. The second civil war, in 
323, w^as brought to a close by the imprisonment and death of 
Licinus. By this victory the Roman world was again united 
under the authority of one emperor. 

112. the famous city: the part Jordanes supposes the Goths 
to have played in the founding of Constantinople is not very 
clear, even to our author himself. Ariaric and Aoric: Con- 
stantine, intervening in some quarrel between the Goths and 
Sarmatians, took part with the latter, and the son of Ariaric was 
among the hostages given by the Goths upon their defeat. See 
Anonymous Valesianus 31: (Constantine) adversum Gothas hel- 
ium suscepit et implarantihus Sarniatis auxilium tulit: ita per Can- 
stnntinum Caesarem c prope milia fame et frig ore extincta sunt: 



l62 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

tunc ct obsidcs acccpit, inter quos et Ariarici regis filium. Gebe- 
rich: or Geberic (Hodgkin I. I 76). The reign of Geberich, ac- 
cording to Gutsc'hmid, is to be dated 318-350. 

XXII 113. Visimar: a Vandal king over the Sarmatians? See 
Gibbon II 217. Asdingi: see note on XIV 91 under Astringi. 
Dexippus (in fr. 24, 3 p. 685 Muell.) tells of the victory of 
Aurelian over the Vandals and of their return to the countries 
beyond the Danube after peace was made. Marisia: see 
Strabo 7, 3, 13 p. 305; pet 5^ 5t' avrCov Mdpi(7os woTafxhs ds rbv ^avo^iov 
Miliare, Gilpil: not mentioned elsewhere. Grisia: a river of 
Hungary. See Constantinus Porphyrogen. de adni. imp. 40: pel 
rdrapTos 6 Kpicros, and Zeuss p. 447. 

114. Hermunduli, or Hermunduri: a Germanic people on the 
Elbe, neighbors of the Chatti. 

115. Pannonia: the expulsion of the Vandals (or Sarma- 
tians? Gibbon II. 219) and their reception by Constantine into 
Pannonia occurred in the year 334. A long time afterward: see 
Orosius 7, 38: Stilico . . . gentes . . . Alanorum Sueborum Vanda- 
lorum . . . Burgundionum . . . ripas Rheni quatere et pulsare Gal- 
lias voluit. 

XXIII 116, Hermanaric: or Hermanric, the Ostrogoth. The 
date is about 351-376 according to Gutschmid. Most of these 
thirteen northern tribes, which Jordanes says were conquered 
by this second Alexander, cannot now be identified with any 
certainty. 

117. Heruli: see Etymologicum magnum p. 332 Gaisford: a^o 
rCiiv iKcicre eXCov EXoupot K^KX-qprai. A^^nriros iv SwSeKCiTCf) xP^J'ikwj'. 
Also Stephanus of Byzantium s.v. : "EXovpoi "SlKvOiKdv e'^yos, Trept wv 
M^iTTTTos iv xp°vikQiv i^' . Alaric: this chief of the Heruli must not 
be confused with Alaric, King of the Suavi, mentioned in LIV 277 
or with the kings of the Visigoths named Alaric. hele: ^X^?. 

119. Venethi: or Veneti; but nee note on V 34; Wends. They 
dwelt in the region that is now Poland. we started to say: in 
V 34. Antes, Sclaveni: the Heruli lived in the swampy 
regions near the Sea of Azov; the parent stock of the Veneti 
(Wends) scattered in various directions, the Sclaveni going to 
the upper waters of the Dniester and Vistula, the Antes along 
the Euxine from the Dniester to the Dnieper. (Hodgkin I. 

I 77.) 

120. Aesti: a Germanic people near the Baltic; see Tacitus, 
Germania 45. 

XXIV 121. Orosius relates: gens Htinnorum diu inacessis se- 
clusa niontibus, repentina rabie pcrcita exarsit in Gothos eosque 
passim conturbatos ab antiquis sedibus expulit (7, 33, 10). Filimer: 
see IV 26. 



COMMENTARY 163 

123. Priscus: the passage is apparently untraceable. But see 
Zeuss p. 708, and compare next note. 

126. swept across the great swamp: it is interesting to com- 
pare with this passage the account given by Procopius, bell. 
Goth. 4, 5: ovToi (the Huns, then called Cimmerians) z^^" airavTes 
TTiSe (jJKtji'TO, KOLPo, jxkv TO. itriTridfrjfjLaTa ^vfiwavra exovres, ovk iwifjLiyvviJ.evoi Si 
dvdpunrois, 61 dr] t'^s re Xi/xiiTji (Maeotis) Kal ttjs ivOivhe eKporjs is to. eiri ddrepa 
tbpvvro • iirel ovre SUfiaLvov irore to, vdara ravra ovre Sta/Sara ehai VTribTrrevov 
. . . irpoi.bvros Si rod xpbt'ov (pacrlv, eivep 6 \6yos vyirjs icrri, rwv p.iv KiiifiepLuv 
veavlas Tivds iv Kvvriyeaiqi dLaTpLpr]v exE"'j e\a(pov 5e fxtav Trpbs avTu>v (pevyovaav 
is TO. vdara iinrrjdTjcrai. ravra. tovs re veavtas . . . rrj iXdcptfi iiriaTriadaL TavTrj, 
fj.TjxO'VV T^ OLVTris /xedieadai oiiSe/juq^, ews ^vv avry is Tqv dvTiiripas aKrrjv Ikovto. 
Kal TO p.iv SiuiKoixevov 8 ti ttot fjv ivdvs d<pavia'67jvai. . . . tovs 5i veavlas rod fiiv 
KvvTjyrjcrlov dTrorvx^t^, f^dxT)^ 5e d(popp.rjv Kal Xelas evpiffdai. is rfd-q yap to. 
TrdrpLa on Tdxi-(TTa iiravrjKOVTes eKdrjXa wdcri Kifx/ieplois ireirolTjvrai 6ti 
5rj TavTTi /Sard (Tcplffi rd vdara eit] dvekdfievoi o^v avriKa rd 6Tr\a 
■iravdr]p,el re dia^dvres iyivovro fieWrjcret ovde/jLi^ iv rrj dvriiripas rjirelptp. 
See also the similar account given by Agathias 5, 11, p. 300 Bonn 
and Cedrenus i, p. 547 Bonn. Mommsen points out that this 
passage is biased on Priscus, as is evident not only from the 
agreement between Procopius and Jordanes, but furthermore 
from XXXIX 206, which is undoubtedly taken from Priscus 
and agrees with this account. Alpidzuri, Alcildzuri, Itimari, 
Tuncarsi and Boisci: these tribes are mentioned in Priscus 
(Te«'bner text Historici Graeci Minorcs ed. Dindorf, p. 276) ; see 
Zeuss p. 708. unlike ... in civilization: Ammianus 31, 2, 21: 
Halaiii . . . sunt . . . Hitiiis . . . per oiniiia supparcs, veruin victu 
viitiorcs et cultu. 

128. cruelty of wild beasts: so also Ammianus 31, 2, i: 
Hunoriim gens . . . omncm modum feritatis excedit. 2: tibi quoniam 
ab ipsis nascendi primitiis infautii^n ferro sulcantur altius genac, tit 
pilorur.i vigor tenipestivus emergens conrugatis cicatricibiis hebetetur, 
senescunt imberbes absque tilla venustate . . .. compactis omnes 
firmisque membris et opimis cervicibiis prodigiosae formae, sed pandi 
ut bipedes existimes bestias ... 6: eqiiis prope adfixi ... 9: procul 
missilibus telis . . . con[fligunt]. 

129. this active race: see Ammianus 31, 2, 12: hoc cxpeditum 
indomitumque honiinum genus (the Huns) . . . per rapinas finiti- 
moriim grassatiim. And c. 3, i : Huni . . . Brmenrichi . . . pages 
repentino impetti perruperimt. Note that many of the actual words 
used iby Ammianus recur in the account given by Jordanes. 
Rosomoni: not otherwise known. Muellen'hoff regards the name 
as unhistoric. But see Schonfeld: Worterbuch der altgerman- 
ischen Personen und Volkernamen, p. 194. Sunilda . . . Sarus 
and Ammius: this tale "is peculiar to Jordanes, and is probably 
part of some old Gothic Saga." (Hodgkin I. I 246.) 



164 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

130, Balamber: the earliest king of the Huns of whom there is 
mention in Jordanes. See also XLVIII 248, 249. the 

Huns . . . prevail: the death of Hermanaric and the overthrow 
of the Ostrogothic Empire by the Huns had probably taken 
place by 375. According to Ammianus 31, 3 Hermanaric com- 
mitted suicide: magnorum discriminum metiim voluntaria morte 
sedavit. As Hodgkin says (I. I 247), the inclination of the 
German critics is to spread the Hunneneinfall over five years: 
372, attack upon the Alani; 374-375, overthrow of the Ostro- 
goths; :i7S-27(>, defeats of Athanaric. 

XXV 131. Romania: or Roman-land, a late name for the 
Roman Empire as contrasted with Gothia. Jordanes uses the 
term several times: see Romana 247, 275, 313; Getica L 266. 
they would submit: compare Ammianus 31, 4, i: (the Goths) 
ripas occupavcre Danuvii missisque oratorihus ad Vahntem stiscipi 
se humili prece poscebant, et qiiiete victiiros sc poUicentes ct daturas, 
si res flagitassct, aiixilia. promised to become Christians: Oro- 
sius (7, 23, 19) speaks of their acceptance of Christianity: 
Gothi antea per legates supplices poposcerunt, ut Hits episcopi, a 
quibus regulam Christianac fidei discercnt, mitterentur. Valens 
hnperator exitiabili pravitate doctores Arriani dogmatis misit. 
Gothi primae fidei rudimentum quod accepere tenuerunt. See also 
Isidorus hist. Goth, ad eram 415: Atanaricus Fridigcrnum Valentis 
iwperatoris suffragio superans huius rei gratia legatos cum muneri- 
bus ad eundein imperatorem mittit et doctores propter siiscipiendam 
Christianae fidei regulam poscit. Valens autem a veritate fidei devius 
et Arrianae haeresis perversitate detentus missis haereticis sacerdo- 
tibus Gothos persuasione nefanda sui erroris dogmati adgregavit 
et in tarn praeclaram gentem virus pestiferum scmine pernicioso 
transfudit. 

132. intended to ask: Valens was by no means so ready and 
willing to receive this barbarian horde as Jordanes assumes. 
This was in fact one of the great crises of the empire, and 
better statesmen than Valens might well have hesitated before 
deciding so momentous a question. Eunapius (Historici Gracci 
Minores (Dindorf) p. 237, says there were 200,000 men of fight- 
ing age besides old men, women and children who crossed the 
Danube (Hodgkin I. I. 251). Arian perfidy: see Hodgkin. 
The Arian sect, named from Arius, differed from the general 
body of the church in believing that the Son of God, thoug'h 
divine, was a created being. Athanasius, in opposition to Arius, 
was the champion of what came to be authoritatively adopted as 
the orthodox belief regarding the Trinity by the Council of 
Nicaea in 325. Ulfilas was an Arian because while his theo- 
logical ideas were being formed, Arianism of one kind or 



COMMENTARY 1 65 

another — for there were many varieties — was orthodoxy at 
Constantinople, and Athanasius was denounced there as a dan- 
gerous heretic. Ulfilas professed the form of Arianism known 
as Homoion: "The Son is like unto the Father in such manner 
as the scriptures declare." This then wias the form of Chris- 
tianity he taught, and which the Goths, Vandals, Burgundians 
and Suavi accepted. This also was the creed of the Emperor 
Vialens. In later times Theodoric the Great was himself un- 
s'haken in the Arianism which had .been the faith of his fore- 
fathers, but he ruled with impartiality over a people the majority 
of whom were orthodox. Mommsen says (Intro. XLIII) that 
Jordanes did not find in the original of his Getica that sharp 
denunciation of Arianism in which 'he delights (see also XXVI 
138), for Cassiodorus, though orthodox himself, was mindful 
of the Arian convictions of his masters. Ebert (Geschichte der 
christlic'hlateinischen Literatur, Leipzig 1874 p. 531 n. 2) believes 
that Jordanes' intense dislike of Arianism is 'best explained by 
the theory that he at first held this belief himself and was later 
converted to the orthodox party. See introduction p. 5. 

133. crossed the Danube: this was in 376. Ammianus (31, 
4, I, quoted under 131 above) also tells of their embassy. 

XXVI 134, Fritigern, Alatheus and Safrac: see Ammianus 
31, 4, 8: primus cum Alavivo suscipitur Fritigcrniis c. 4, 12: Vithe- 
ricus Greuthungorum \rex cum Alatheo et Safrace quorum arhitrio 
regebatur, . . . ut simili susciperetur humanitate obsecravit . . . 
c 5, 3: Greuthingi . . . ratibus transiere. Lupicinus and Maxi- 
mus: Lupicinus was Count of Thrace, and Maximus probably 
Duke of Moesia (Hodgkin I. I 254). cursed lust for gold: 
a reminiscence of Vergil's auri sacra fames, Aen. 3, 57. 

135. demanded their sons: Ammianus (31, 4. 9) likewise re- 
cords the inhuman conduct of these Roman commanders: potcsta- 
tibus praefuere castrensibus homines maculosi quibus Lupicinus 
antestabat et Maximus, alter per Thracias comes, dux alter, c. 4, 11 : 
cum traducti barbari victus inopia vexarentur, turpe commcrcium 
duces invisissimi [ex]cogitarunt et quantos undique insatiabilitas 
colligere potuit canes pro singulis dederunt mancipiis: inter quae 
[et filii] ducti sunt optimatium. 

137. took arms: Ammianus (31, 5, 5) gives the following ac- 
count of the banquet and its consequences: Alavivo et Fritigerno 
ad convivium conrogatis Lupicinus ... 6 dum in nepotali mensa 
ludicris concrepantibus diu discumbens vino marcebat et somno, . . . 
satellites omnes, qui praetorio honoris et tutelae causa duces 
praestolabantur, occidit. 7: hocque populus qui muros obsidebat 
dolenter accepto ad vindictam detentorum regum . . . multa 
minabatur et saeva. utque erat Fritigernus expediti consilii, veritus 



1 66 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

tie tencrctur obsidis vice cum ceteris, exclamavit graviore pugnandum 
exitio, ni ipse ad leniendum vulgus sineretur exire cum sociis, quod 
arbiti'atum humanitatis specie ductores suos occisos in tumultum 
exarsit. hocque inpetrato egressi omnes exceptique cum plausu et 
gaudiis ascensis equis cvolarunt moturi incitamenta diversorum 
bellorum. as strangers and pilgrims: compare the ut advenae 
et percgrini of Jordanes with the Vulgate tanquam advenas et 
peregrines, I. Petr. 2, ii; quasi advenam et peregrinum, Levit. 25, 
35; also Gen. 23, 4, Num. 9, 14, Levit. 25, 47. There seems to 
be a like Biblical reminiscence in Gctica LIV 279. the 

Goths . . . began to rule: their power was actually used only 
to plunder and destroy. Innocent subjects of the Empire were 
thus their victims. (Gibbon III loi.) 

138. set out for . . . Thrace: see Amraianus 31, 11, i: Valens 
tandem excitus Antiochia . . . venit ConstantinopoUm. Hadri- 
anople: Ammianus 31, 12 10: signa . . . commoventur impedi- 
mentis et sarcinis prope Hadrianopoleos viuros . . . conlocatis. 
emperor lay hidden: the same story is told by Victor epit. 46: 
hie Valens cum Gothis lacrimabili bello commisso sagittis saucius 
in casa deportatur vilissima, ubi supervenientibus Gothis igneque 
supposito inccndio concrcmatus est. See also Hieronymus on the 
year of Abraham 2395; Orosius 7, ZZ, iS- The following ac- 
count is given by Ammianus 31, 13, 12: imperator . . . sagitta 
perniciose saucius ruit ... 14: dicunt Valentcm . . . cum candidatis 
et spadonibus paucis prope ad agrestem casam relatum . . . cir- 
cumsessum ab hostibus, qui esset ignorantibus, dedecore captivitatis 
exemptum. judgment of God: thus it seemed to Orosius also 
(7. 2i2, 19) : itaque iusto iudicio dei ipsi eum vivum incenderunt, 
qui propter eum etiani mortui vitio crroris arsuri sunt. See Isidorus 
hist. Goth, ad eram 416. their glorious victory: Ammianus (31, 
13, 19) says of this Roman disaster: nee ulla annalibus praeter 
Cannensem pugnam ita ad internecionem res Icgitur gcsta, quam- 
quam Romani aliquotiens reflante Fortuna fallaciis lusi bellorum 
iniquitati cesserunt ad tempus, et certamina multa fabulosae naeniae 
flcvcre Graecorum. 

XXVII 139. his uncle: Gratian was the son of Valentinian I, 
and nephew of Valens. 

XXVIII 142. King Athanaric: or Aithanaric. An old enemy 
of Fritigern, this chieftain had dwelt secure in the mountains and 
forests of Caucaland in Dacia until driven out by Alatheus and 
Safrac. (See Ammianus 27, 5, 10: Athanaricus proximorum fac- 
tione genitalibus terris expulstis.) He then fled for refuge to 
Theodosius. (Hodgkin I. I 308.) 

144. departed this life: see Cassiodorus on the year 382: 
Athanaricus rex Gothorum ConstantinopoUm ibique vitam exegit. 



COMMENTARY 1 67 

Also Ammianus 27, 5, 10: ubi (at Constantinople) . . . Atha- 
naricus . . . fatali sorte decessit et ambitiosis exequiis ritu sepultus 
est nostra. Marcellinus on the year 381: Athanaricus rex Gothorum, 
cum quo Theodosius imp. foedus pepigerat, C onstantinop olim mense 
lanuario venit eodemque viense morbo periit. Also Orosius 7, 34, 
6, 7; Idatius on the year 381; Zosimus 4, 34; Socrates 5, 10. 

145. submitted to the Roman rule: see Orosius 7, 34, 7: 
universae Gothorum gentes rege defuncto adspicientcs virtutem 
benignitatenique Theodosii Romano sese imperio dediderunt. Eu- 
genius: Jordanes has made a mistake here. Gratian was assas- 
sinated in the year 383 by order of Maximus the Spaniard, who 
then usurped the throne. Eugenius (392-394), the rhetorician, 
was elevated to imperial power by Arbogast the Frank, upon the 
death of Vialentinian II. He was the last enemy of Theodosius 
and was slain after the battle of the Frigidus in 394. 

XXIX 146. his sons: Arcadius and Honorius. 

147. Stilicho and Aurelian: they held the consulship in 400. 
See Prosper ad annum p. 400: Stilicone et Aureliano. Gothi 
Italiani Alarico et Radagaiso ducibus ingressi. Jordanes, appar- 
ently knowing nothing of the campaigns in Greece, proceeds at 
once to Alaric's invasion of Italy (Hodgkin I. II 653; see also 
Bury I 67; Cambridge Mediaeval History, page 261 and 457). 
river Candidianus: this stream is now called the Candiano. The 
bridge is mentioned also by Cassiodorus on the year 491: 
Odovacar cum He\rulis egressus Ravenna nocturnis horis ad pontem 
Candidiani a. d. n. rege Theoderico memorabili certamine superatur. 
the royal city of Ravenna: Ravenna was the residence of the 
western Roman emperors (402-476), Ostrogothic kings (to 540) 
and Byzantine exarchs (to 7So). See Hodgkin I. II, 851-917. 

148. AlveroL : the Italian Veneti {Romana 180) or Venetes 
(Getica 222, 223). To be distinguished from the Venethi men- 
tioned in XXIII 119. above the Ionian Sea: Ravenna was 
three miles from the Adriatic, sometimes known as Mare Supe- 
rum, and in fact a northward extension of the Mare Ionium. 
like an island: see Cassiodorus var. 12, 24: Venetiae . . . ab 
austro Ravennam Padumque contingunt, ab oriente iucunditate 
lonii Uteris perfruuntur, ubi alternus aestus egrediens modo claudit, 
modo aperit faciem reciproca inundationc camporum: hie vobis 
aliquantulum aquatilitim avium more domus est, namque nunc 
terrestris, modo cernitur insularis. 

149. sweeps with his oars along: with the language of this 
passage compare Vergil, Aen. 5, 162 : 

quo tantum mihi dexter abisf hue derige gressum; 
litus ama et laeva stringat sine paUniila cautcs. 



l68 JOKDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS. 

Fossa Asconis: see Agnellus lib. cccl. Rav. 70; also 79: in 
loco qui dicitur Fossa Sconii iuxta Fluvium. 

150. Eridanus: the poetical name of the Po. See Vergil, 
Georgics 4, 2>72- turned aside by . . . Augustus: he had made 
Ravenna his naval station for the Adriatic. Dio relates: the 
passage is lost. 

151. Fabius says: a writer not mentioned elsewhere. Momm- 
sen curtly observes: quinam fiierit ncscio (Intro. XXXIII). 

XXX 152. embassy to . . . Honorius: the story of the siege 
of Ravenna rests on the authority of Jordanes alone. His 
whole account of Alaric's movements in Italy is very much 
confused (Hodgkin I. II. 711). 

153. invasion of Gaiseric: the Vandals together with the 
Suavi and Alani entered Gaul in 406, and three years later they 
poured into Spain through the passes of the Pyrenees. In 
Spain there was severe warfare for many years. Gaiseric be- 
came king of the Vandals upon the death of his father Gunderic 
in 427. 

154. Pollentia: the modern Pollenza, near Turin. The battle 
of Pollentia was fought on Easter Sunday, April 6, 402, and 
Alaric was attacked while he was attending the service of the 
day. Hodgkin (I. II 720), by a curious slip, places both 
Easter Sunday and Good Friday in the year 402 on the 6th of 
April. See Bury I 109; Cambridge Medieval History 265 
and 460. 

155. almost exterminated it: that the dubious battle of Pol- 
lentia was a Gothic victory is asserted also by Cassiodorus on 
the year 402: Pollentiae Stiliconem cum excrcitu Romano Gothi 
victum acie fugaverunt. Prosper merely says: Pollentiae adversus 
Gothos vehementer utriusque partis clade pugnalnm est. Orosius 
says of this battle (7, ^7, 2) : taceo de infelicibus illis apud Pollcn- 
tiam gestis, cum barbaro et pagano diici . . . cuius inprobitati reve- 
rentissimi dies et sanctum pascha violatum est cedentique hosti 
propter religionem, ut pugnaret, extortum est; . . . pngnantes vici- 
mus, victores victi sumus. returned again to Liguria: Pollentia 
is in Liguria. Alaric's march toward Rome took place in the 
year 408. See Bury I 115. 

156. finally entered Rome: after his third and final siege 
of Rome in 410 Alaric sacked the city. The first siege occurred 
in 408, the second in 409. See Bury I 121; Hodgkin I. II 766 — 
810; Cambridge Medieval History 270-274. merely sacked it: 
see Cassiodorus on the year 410. To Prosper's words: Roma . . . 
a Gothis Halarico duce capta, he adds: ubi cloncntcr usi victoria sunt. 
Also var. 12, 20: exemplum . . . in historia nostra magna inten- 
tione rettulimus. nam cum rex Alariciis urbis Romae depraedatione 



COMMENTARY 1 69 

satiatus apostoU Petri vasa suis deferentibus excepisset, mox ut 
ret causain habita interrogatione cognovit, sacris liminibus dcportari 
diripientiiim manibus imperavit, ut cupiditas, quae depraedationis 
ambitu admiserat scelus, devotione largissima deleret excessiim. 
And Orosius 7, 39, 15: tei'tia die barbari qiiam ingressi virbem 
fuerant sponte discedunt facto quidem aliquaiitarunt acdium inccn- 
dio, sed ne tanto quidem, quanta septingentesimo conditionis eius 
anno casus effecerat. See also Orosius 7, 39, i and Augustine, 
De Civitate Dei 1, i. Bruttii: the modern Calabria. Adriatic 
Sea: here as in LX 308 and Roniana 151 Jordanes is referring 
to the Ionian Sea; he also refers to the Mediterranean as the 
Adriatic (see Romana 223: Rodus . . . totius Atriae insularum 
metropolis). 

157. sunk several of his ships: see Orosius 7, 43, 12 (quoted 
below in note on XXXIII 173). 

158. Busentus: a little river now called the Busento, which 
flows around Cosenza (Consentia), where Alaric died. Atha- 
vulf: or Ataulfus; he was Alaric's brother-in-law. 

XXXI 159. returned again to Rome: a doubtful statement. 
What Orosius (7, 43, 3) says of Athavulf seems to disprove it: 
is, ut saepe audituin atque ultimo exitu eius probatum est, satis 
studiose scctator pads niilitare fideliter Honorio imperatori ac 
pro defcndciida Romana rcpublica inpcndere vires Gothorum praeop- 
tavit. See Bury I 137; Camibridge Medieval History 274 
and 399. Placidia: Galla Placidia was the daughter of Theo- 
dosius I and the Empress Galla, and granddaug"hter of 
Valentinian I. 

160. Forum Julii: as Mommsen points out, Jordanes is here in 
error either with regard to the region or the city. In Aemilia 
there is a Forum Livii; a Forum Julii is found both in Venetia 
and in Gallia Narbonensis. But we learn from other authors 
(Olympiodorus fr. 24; Idatius p. 18 Rone.) that the marriage 
took place at Narbonne. See Bury I 147; Cambridge Medieval 
History 402. Then Athavulf set out for Gaul: Jordanes has 
the order of facts reversed. It was in 412 that he left Italy, 
never to return. The wedding of Athavulf and Placidia took 
place at Narbonne in 414. (Hodgkin I. II 829, 833.) 

161. w^e have said before: see XXII 115. crossed over 
into Gaul: see Isidorus Goth. laud. 68 (which Mommsen thinks 
is taken from Cassiodorus) : Wandalica et ipsa crebro opinata 
barbaries non tantum praesentia eorum (the Goths) exterrita quant 
opinio ne fugata est. 

162. in Spain: the invasion of Spain by the Vandals and the 
Alani occurred in 409. See note on XXX 153. Also Bury I 
142; Cambridge Medieval History 274 and 304. Geberich: see 
XXII 113 and following. 



I/O JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OE THE GOTHS 

163. he . . . fell: Athavulf was assassinated in 415. Two 
years later his widow, Galla Placidia, married Constantius III 
and bore him a son who ruled later as Valentinian III (425-455). 
Euervulf: Olympiodorus frag. 26 names a certain Du'bius as his 
slayer; he says dvaipei avrbv (Athavulf) eh rCbv oUduiv Vbrdwv AovlSois 
ToUvofia ex^P"-" TraXaLCLv Kaipo(pvXaK7j<ras . See Hodgkin I. II 834 n. I. 
Segeric: or Singeric. See Orosius 7, 43, 9: Segericus rex a Gothis 
crcatus ... a snis interfectns est. He reigned only a week. See 
Hodgkin, The Dynasty of Theodosius 175, and Bury I 149. 

XXXII 164. Valia or Wallia, the founder of the Visigothic 
kingdom, with its capital at Tolosa. He received a grant in 
southern Gaul and was at first under Roman supremacy but 
soon made himself independent. See Bury I 152, Cambridge 
Medieval History 404. Constantius: this is Constantius III 

who became emperor in 421. The meeting of Constantius and 
Valia at the pass in the Pyrenees, where they made a treaty of 
peace, took place in the year 416. 

165. on the following terms: see Orosius 7, 43, 12: Vallia . . . 
pacem optiniani cum Honorio imperatore . . . pepigit: Placidiam 
imperatoris sororem . . . fratri reddidit: Roinanae securitati peri- 
culiini suum obtulit, ut adversus ceteras gentes, quae per Hispanias 
consedissent, sibi pugnuret et Roinanis vinceret. a certain Con- 
stantine: see Marcellinus on the year 411: Constantimis apud 
Gallias iiivasit impctium filiuinque suum ex monacho Caesaiem fecit, 
ipse apud Arelatum civitatem occiditur, Constans filius apud Vien- 
nam capite plectitur. See also Orosius 7, 40, 4.7; 42, 3, 4; Bury 
I 139-144. Arelate: Arelas or Arelate in southern Gaul, on 
the eastern branch of the Rhone, is the modern Aries. Vienna: 
the Roman Vienna was a city of Gallia Narbonensis on the 
Rhone, the modern Vienne. Jovinus: see Marcellinus on the 
year 412: lovinus et Sehastianus in Gallias tyrannidem molientcs 
occisi sunt. See also Orosius 7, 42, 6; and Bury I 144 onward. 

166. twelfth year of Valia's reign: this would be the year 
427. But as Valia reigned only four years (415-419), "the 
twelfth year of Valia's reign" mentioned by Jordanes is a 
statement of no value, except as meaning "the twelfth year 
after the year of Valia's accession." If the first irruption of the 
Huns is dated at 375 and a few years are allowed for their 
conquest of Pannonia the "almost fifty years" of Jordanes is a 
fairly accurate statement. Pannonia: see Marcellinus on 
the year 427: Pannoniae quae per L annos ab Hunnis retinebantur, 
a Romanis receptac sunt. Hierius and Ardabures: consuls in 
427. See Prosper and Cassiodorus, chronicle for this year: 
gens Vandalorum [Cassiodorus adds a Gothis cxchisa] de Hispaniis 
ad Africam transit. 



COMMENTARY I7I 

XXXIII 167. Boniface: he was one of the chief advisers of 
the Empress Placidia, the mother of Valentinian III, and held 
the rank of Comes Africae. According to Procopius {De hello 
Vandalico i, 3) it was due to a plot of Aetius that Boniface's 
loyalty was suspected, and that in 427 he was declared a public 
enemy of Rome. It was then that he summoned the Vandals 
to his assistance from Spain. Hodgkin I. II 876, Bury I 156, 
Cambridge Medieval History 409. 

168. disaster of the Romans: the sack of Rome by Gaiseric 
occurred in 455. See XLV 235 and note; also Bury I 235. 

170. order of succession: Mommsen gives the following 
chronology for the Kings of the Vandals: 

Gaiseric 427-477 

Huneric 477-484 

Guntha'mund 484-496 

Thrasamund 496-523 

Ilderich 523-530 

Gelimer 530-534 

171. Justinian: Emperor of the East from 527 to 565; see 
LX 307 onward. Belisarius: this great soldier was born 
about 505, and received the appointment of Magister Militum 
per Orientem in 530. His conquest of the Vandals occurred in 
the year 534. (Hodgkin III 580.) For the Vandalic war see 
Bury I 385 onward. a great spectacle: Belisarius was re- 
warded for his success by the honor of a triumph, and Gelimer 
walked before him in the triumphal procession, together with 
the other Vandal captives. (Hodgkin III 624.) private life: 
after the celebration of the triumph, Gelimer received estates in 
the province of Galatia and lived there with his exiled 
countrymen. 

172. third part of the world: see Marcellinus on the year 
534: provincia Africa, quae in divisione orbis terrariini a plerisque 
in parte tertia posita est, volente deo vindicata est. See also Oro- 
sius I, 2, 83; Codex lustinianus i, 27, i pr. and Cassiodorus 
var. II, 13. the misery of civil war: a war with the Moors 
followed directly upon the departure of Belisarius from Africa, 
and after raging for several years was brought to a successful 
conclusion by his lieutenant Solomon in 539 (Gibbon IV 298). 
See Bury I 387 onward. 

173. such a misfortune: his ships were wrecked. See XXX 
157, also Orosius 7, 43, 11. 12: (Valia) territus maxime iudicio dei, 
quia, cum magna superiore abbinc anno Gothorum manus . . . 
transire in Africam moliretur in XII mdlibus passuum Gaditani 
freti tempestate correpta miserabili exitu perierat, memor etiam 
illius acceptae sub Alarico cladis, cum in Siciliam Gothi transire 



172 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

conati in conspcctu snormii miscrahilitcr arrepti ct dcmd'si sunt, 
pacem . . . cum Honorio . . . pcpigit. a bloodless victory: 
a reference to the peace concluded with Honorius; see passage 
from Orosius cited in preceding note, also XXXII 165 and note. 
Tolosa: the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom in Gaul, now 
Toulouse. 

174. mentioned above: see XIV 81. Veteric: see XIV 81. 
still submitted to . . . the Huns: see XXIV 130. 

175. Theodorid: this is Theodorid I who was slain in the 
Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451. See XL 209. 

XXXIV 176. Theodosius and Festus: consuls in 439. 
Count Gaina: the revolt of Count Gaina, or Gainas, and the con- 
sequent outbreak of popular frenzy against the Goths in Con- 
stantinople actually occurred in 400, though Jordanes seems to 
assign it to the consulship of Theodosius and Festus, the 
year 439. Gaina was killed on the shores of the Danube by 
the Hun Uldis, who sent his head to Arcadius. (Hodgkin I. 
II 695.) For details of the revolt of Count Gaina see Bury 

I 83-89, Cambridge Medieval History 262-263. Aetius: the 
great Roman general who defeated Attila at the Battle of the 
Catalaunian Plains (Chalons) in 451. See XXXVI 191. 
Durostorum: the modern Silistria on the lower Danube. 

177, Litorius: Jordanes probably got his information from 
Prosper on the year 439: Theodosio XVII et Festo. Litorius qui 
secunda ab Actio patricio potestate Hunnis auxiliantihus prae- 
erat . . . pugnam cum Gothis iniprudcnter conseruit . . . tantam 
ipse hostibus cladcm intulit, nt nisi inconsiderantcr proelians in 
captivitatem incidisset, dubitandum foret, cui potius parti victoria 
adscriberetur . . . pax cum Gothis facta, cum cam post ancipitis 
pugnae lacrim.abile experimeutum huDiilius qua>n uinqtiam antea 
poposcissent. See Bury I 172, Cambridge Medieval History 411. 

178. Attila: he and his brother Bleda gained the rule over the 
Huns in 433 and Bleda was murdered twelve years later. See 
XXXV 180. an embassy: in 448 the Emperor Theodosius 

II sent an embassy to Attila and the chief ambassador, Maximin, 
invited Priscus, the man of letters, to accompany him. From 
Priscus we learn much of Attila's own country and court. 
(Hodgkin II 60.) The account of Priscus is well translated 
by Bury (I 212). mighty rivers: see Priscus fr. 8 (4 p. 83 
Muell.) : vavffnrdpois re irpocre^aXoixev Trora/xoTs, Siv oi /x^yiffTOi ixera tov 

'IffTpov 8 T€ Api^Kuv \ey6fjLevos Kal 6 Tlyas Kai 6 Ti^ijiraj ^p. Kai toijtovs fxiv 
iTrepai.w9p.ev. Tisia: the river Theiss. See also the Corpus. 
Inscr. Lat. Ill p. 247 for these rivers. Vidigoia: see V 43. 
village . . . like a great city: see Priscus fr. 8 (p. 89 Muell.): 
ev5op de tov Trepi^dXov TrXeitrTO irvyx^^^^ oUrjixara, to. p.kv iK ffaviduv iyy\v<p(i}v 



COMMENTARY 173 

Kal rfpixufffiivoiv els einrp^irecav, ra 5^ €k Boklov . . . evravda rrjS ArTrjXa ivdi- 
aLTCjfxivrjs yafj-eriis. 

179. dining halls: see Priscus fr. 8 (p. 91 Muell.) : '^P^^ ^^ '^o'* 
TOtxo'S Tov oiKTjfjLaTos TTavTcs virfjpxov oi 8l<ppoi i^ eKar^pas TrXeupas . . . l3adfj,oi 
Tipes iirl T7]v avTov (Attila) dvyf/ov eivrjv KokvwTOfjLivqv odovais Kac ttolkIXoh 
TrapaTrerafffxacri Kocr/xov X'^P"'- 

XXXV 180. Bleda: Marcellinus says under the year 445: 
Bleda rex Hunnorum Attilae fratris siii insidiis interimitur. 

183. Priscus says: for the story of the sword O'f Mars, see 
Priscus fr. 8 (p. 91 Muell.) : eaeadai Si ovk ets /xaKpav Trjs Trapo^crrjs aury 
(Attila) SvpdpLeus av^rjffiv ■ (T7)p.alvnv Kal tovto rbv debv rb rod " Apeos dva. 
4>y]vavTa ^t'^os, birep 6v iepbv Kai irapd tQv liKvdiKuv ^adikiwv Tip.wp.evov, ola 5ri 
T(J3 i<p6pii) Tuv iro\ip.wv dvaKeifievov, iv rocs TrdXai dcpaviudijvai xP^^ols, eira Sid 
/3o6s evpedrjvai. 

XXXVI 184. mentioned shortly before: m XXXIII 170. 
incited . . . to . . . war: see Priscus fr. 15 (p. 98 Muell.): ex*'" 
ai^Ty (Attila) iSbKei KaXws . . . is r'qv effiripap aTpareveardai ttjs p.dx'r]s aimp 
fir] p.6vov irpbs'lTaXiwras, dXXd KUi irpbs Vordovs Kal ^pdyyovs e<TQp.iv7)S, irpbs 
lj.ev'lTaXLc!)Tas cbaTe TT]v 'Ovwplav fierd tQv xPW^''"''"' ^"i^f '''i ""P^s ^^ TotOovs 
xdpiv Tifep^xv K-aTaTidip.evov. See Bury I 175, Cambridge Medieval 
History 364 and 415. Huneric: see note on XXXIII 170. 

185. sent ambassadors into Italy: this was in the year 451. 

188. give heed: W. Frohner (Philologus, supplbd. 5, 55 [1889] 
would read fovete, not favete. 

190. Friderich . . . Eurich, Retemer . . . Himnerith: of 
these four sons, Eurich alone became king. He reigned from 
466 to 485. Thorismud and Theodorid: Thorismud succeeded 
his father as king of the Visigoths, reigning from 451-453, and 
his brother Theodorid succeeded him, as Theodorid II, reigning 
from 453-466. 

192. Catalaunian Plains: the site of this great battle is 
usually placed at Chalons-sur-Marne, but von Wietersheim and 
Hodgkin believe it was fought near Mery-sur-Seine; see Hodg- 
.kin II 143-145; also Bury I 177 and Cambridge Medieval 
History 416 note 2. The description of the battle, as well as 
the general account of Attila is believed by Mommsen (Intro- 
duction XXXVI) to have been taken over solidly from Priscus. 
Hodgkin (II 125, note) regards Cassiodorus as a more probable 
source, because of the strong Gothic coloring. 

XXXVII 194. Sangiban: see Prosper Tiro on the year 440: 
desexrta Valentinae urbis riira Alanis, quibus Sambida praeerat, 
particnda traduntur. Aureliani: the present Orleans. Gregory 
of Tours (2, 7) gives a different version of this siege. 

XXXVIII 199. Valamir, Thiudimer and Vidimer: see also 
XLVIII 252 and following. the king they served: the Ostro- 



174 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

goths, it will be remembered, at this time submitted to the 
overlordship of the Huns. Ardaric: see L 260, 262, 263. 

Also Romana 331 and Bury, I 261 note 2. 

200. keeper of secrets: Cassiodorus says (var. 11, i): Vnala- 
mer . . . ciiitiiit fide. we had said: in XXXVIII 199. in 
fear and trembling: compare with the cum tiniore et tremor e 
of Jordanes the Vulgate Phil. II 12: cum metu et tremore. 

XXXIX 206. the Maeotian swamp: see XXIV 123. 

XL 209. Andag: the father of Baza, to whom Jordanes was 
notarius. See note on L 266. in prophecy: see XXXVII 196. 

210. nearly slew Attila: see Cassiodorus on the year 451: 
Romani Actio duce Gothic auxiliaribus contra AttVam in campo 
Catalaunico pugnaverunt, qui virtute Gothorum superatus absccssit. 
Prosper neither mentions the place nor gives the Goths credit 
for the victory. 

XLI 216. his brothers: it will be remembered that Theo- 
dorid I had sent home four of his sons before the battle; see 
XXXVI 190. 

218. the old oracles: such as the good omen of the sword 
of Mars, XXV 183. 

XLII 219. Aquileia: see XV 88. The river Natissa or 
Natiso (Ammianus 21, 12, 8) is the modern Natisone; Mount 
Piccis is not mentioned elsewhere. 

221. forced their way: Prosper has nothing about this. Cas- 
siodorus says on the year 452: Attila . . . Aquileiam magna vi 
dimicans introivit. The refugees from the cities sacked and 
burned by Attila fled to the lagoons at the mouths of the 
Piave and the Brenta, occupying the islands which later be- 
came the site of the city of Venice. See Bury I 179, 180. 

222. Mediolanum: Milan. Ticinum: on the Ticinus river; 
the modern Pavia. Priscus relates: the passage is not preserved. 

223. Pope Leo: Pope from 440-461. Prosper (on the year 
452) says of this embassy: suscepit . . . negotium . . . papa 
Leo . . . ita siimmi sacerdotis pracsentia rex gavisus est, ut et 
hello ahstineri praeciperet et ultra Danuvium promissa pace disce- 
deret. See Bury I 179, Hodgkin II 156-161. Ambuleian 
district: this region is not elsewhere mentioned. The Mincius 
is a tributary of the Po in Cisalpine Gaul, now called the 
Mincio. Honoria: the daughter of Galla Placidia and Con- 
stantius III, whom Galla Placidia married upon the death of 
her first husband Athavulf. See also the account given by 
Priscus fr. 16 (p. 99 Muell.) : 6 'Am^Xaj . . . tQiv d/xcp' avrbv &v5pas 
is rr]v 'IraXlav iirtfiirev a-ore rriv 'Ovutplav ^/c5i56vai. ehai yap avrifi rjpijuxr- 
p-ivrju irpos ydfiov, TtKfJLTjpiov irowvfXfi'os rbv Trap avTrjs veficpdivTa daKrvXiov, 6v 
Kai ^7ri56ix^77iT6^i6i'ov i<TTd\Kei ■ irapax^pilv 5k avr^ rbv JjaXevTLviavbv Kal rod 



COMMENTARY 1/5 

rj/Mlaews rijs ^aa-cKelas ixipovs. Attila's demand was refused. See also 
Romana 328 and Bury I 174, 175. 

XLIII 225. promised him by Theodosius: that is, Theodo- 
sius II (402-450). This refers to tribute money. See Priscus 
fr. 19 (p. 99 Muell.); o'ArT-ffKas nera to Tr)v 'IraXLav dvdpawodiffacTdai 
M TO. (T(piTepa dva^e^^as tois Kparovai tQv eJcov 'Pwpiaiwv ird'Kep.ov Kal dvdpa- 
■7ro5i(TiJ.bv TTJs x'^P"-^ KarriyyeWei', cus firj iKirefiipdivTOS rod irapd Qeodoalov 
TeraypL^vov (pdpov. 

227. Catalaunian Plains: this second defeat of Attila by the 
Visigoths on the very site of the former battle is generally 
disbelieved by historians, since it is mentioned by no other 
author (Hodgkin II 170). 

228. Ascalc: Prosper of Aquitaine, Idatius and Isidorus say 
Thorismud w^as slain by his brothers and their dependents. Nor 
is this inconsistent with the account given by Jordanes who 
speaks of those that were lying in wait. Ascalc probably played 
the part of betrayer. 

XLIV 229. Riciarius: or Rechiarius, king of the Suavi in 
Spain from 448-456. For his death see XLIV 232. his kins- 
man: he had married Theodorid's sister. 

230. Austrogonia: the Autrigones actually dwelt on the west 
of Gallaecia. See Mela 3, i, 15; Pliny 3, 3, 27; Florus 4, 12; 
Orosius 6, 21; Corpus inscr. lat. II p. 394- Monument of . . . 
Scipio: see I 7. Tagus: now the Tajo. 

231. moved his array: probably in the year 456 (Hodgkin 
II 388). Gundiuch: or Gundiok, a brother-in-law of Ricimer 
XLV 236). Hilperic: or Chilperic. See Hodgkin II 388. 

232. Ulbius: according to Idatius the battle look place at a 
river called the Urbicus, now the Obrego, near Asturica Augusta 
(now Astorga) in northwestern Spain. Tyrrhenicin Sea: this 
geographical reference is baflfling, for the battle was fought at 
Oporto. 

233- Agrivulf: he ruled over the Suavi in Spain in 456- 
457. See Idatius on the year 457: Aiulfus deserens Gothos in 
Gallaecia residet. Varni: or Varini; see Zeuss 132 and 360. 

234. Rimismund: he ruled the Suavi from 458 onward. 

XLV 235. Eurich: he too was a son of Theodorid I; see 
XXXVI 190. with such eager haste: a euphemistic way of 
saying that he assassinated his brother. Valentinian: he was 
murdered on the Campus Martius in 455. In the Romana 334 
Jordanes, following Marcellinus, says that the deed was done 
by two dependents of Aetius. See Bury I 182. laid it waste: 
compare the account of the events O'f this year (455) as given 
by Marcellinus: Valentinianus princeps dolo Maximi patricii . . . 
truncatus est. idem Maximus invasit imperium tertioque tyrannidis 



176 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

suae meiise membratim Romae a Romanis discerptus est. Gense- 
ricus rex Wandalorum . . . ex Africa Romam ingressus est caque 
iirbe rebus omnibus spoUata. The Vandals are said to have been 
summoned from Africa by the Empress Eudoxia, widow of 
Valentinian III, whom Maximus had forced to marry him. 
(Hodgkin II 203). 'But see Bury I 235, Camibridge Medieval 
History 308. was slain: Maximus was murdered after a 

reign of about three months; see Bury I 235, Hodgkin II 205. 

236. Majorian: the Emperor Majorian was killed in August 
461. See Marcellinus on this year: Maiorianus Caesar apud 
Dertonam iuxta fluviuni qui Hira dicitur interemptus est: locum 
eius Severus invasit. Compare also Romana 335, where Jordanes 
seems to have drawn on the Getica as a source. See Bury I 240 
Dertona: a city in Liguria, now Tortona. For the river Ira 
see Corpus inscr. lat. V. p. 828. Anthemius: so Marcellinus 
on the year 467: Leo imperator Aiithemium patricium Romam 
misit imperatorcmque constituit. After the death of Severus there 
was for twenty months no emperor in the west; an interregnum 
which, as Hodgkin (II 440) points out, "prepared the way for 
the abolition of the dignity of Augustus in 476." Anthemius 
was the son-in-law of Marcian, Leo's predecessor in the east. 
See Bury 1 243-244, Cambridge Medieval History 426. Rici- 
mer: Ricimer, the grandson of Valia, king of the Visigoths, 
was the power behind the Roman throne for the sixteen years 
(456-472) after Avitus [XLV 240] was deposed (Hodgkin II 
399). See Bury I 234-249, Cambridge Medieval History 422. 
Beorg: Hodgkin (II 440) suggests that 'he may have been the 
successor of Sangiban (XXXVII 194). Beorg was killed 
in 464. 

237. Brittones: see Gregory of Tours 2, 18: Britanni de Biturica 
a Gothis expulsi sunt multis apud Dolensem vicum peremptis. Rio- 
timus: supposed to be the same as the Riothamus to whom a 
letter of Sidonius (3. 9) is addressed. 

238. Arverna: the Arverni were a people of Gaul in the region 
now called Auvergne. See XLV 240, and Hodgkin II 486-488. 

239. Olybrius: see Marcellinus on the year 472: znii id. Nov. 
Anthemius imp. Romae a Ricimer e gcnero suo occiditur. loco 
eius Olybrius substitutus. See Bury I 248, Cambridge Medieval 
History 428. Aspar: he was of the Alani, a general and ex- 
consul, and his power in the eastern empire was great for many 
years. (Hodgkin II 442.) It was mainly through his influence 
that Leo became emperor (457-474). Compare Marcellinus on 
the year 471 : Aspar primus patriciorum cum Ardabure et Patriciolo 
filiis, illo quidcm olim patricio, hoc autem Caesare generoque Leonis 
principis appellate, Arrianus cum Arriana prole spadonum ensibus 



COMMENTARY 1/7 

in palatio vulneratus interiit. See Romaita 2^8. barely eight 
months: Marcellinus on the year 472: septimo mense imperii 
sui vita defunctus est. rather by usurpation: so Marcellinus 
on the year 473: Glycerins apud Ravennam plus praesumptione 
quam electione Caesar factus est. Glycerius was raised to the 
throne by Gundobad, a Burgundian, the nephew of Ricimer 
(Hodgkin II 478). See Bury I 274-276. Nepos: Julius Nepos 
was elevated to the imperial dignity by the rulers of the east, 
who refused to recognize Glycerius as the emperor. Though 
proclaimed at Constantinople in 473, he did not arrive in Italy 
until the following year (Hodgkin II 480). deposed him: see 
Marcellinus on the year 474: Glycerius ... a Nepote Marcellini 
quondam patricii sororis filio imperio expulsus in Porta urbis 
Romae ex Caesare episcopus ordinatus est. See Romana 338. 
bishop: the ex-emperor Glycerius was consecrated as Bishop of 
Salona, and sent ofif to Dalmatia. Port of Rome: the fortified 
harbor town known as Portus Augusti (that is, Nero) et Traiani, 
opposite Ostia. 

240. already said: in XLV 237. .Arverna: see XLV 238. 
Ecdicius: see Gregory of Tours, hist. Franc. 2, 24, and Hodgkin 
II 494. Avitus: he was raised to the imperial dignity in 455 
and died the following year. It was in 456 that he was deposed 
by Ricimer and consecrated bishop at Placentia. 

241. Orestes: see Marcellinus on the year 475: Nepote Orestes 
protinus cffugato Augustulum filium suum in imperium collocavit. 
See Romana 344. Orestes had been the secretary of Attila. fled 
to Dalmatia: it is a curious coincidence that these two deposed 
emperors should end their days in the same city. 

XLVI 242. Torcilingi . . . Sciri . . . Heruli: these races 
dwelt in the region to the north of the middle Danube (Hodg- 
kin II 510). invaded Italy: see Marcellinus on the year 476: 
Odovacer rex Gothorum Romam obtinuit. Orestem Odovacer ilico 
trucidavit. Augustulum filium Orestis Odovacer in Lucullano Cam- 
paniae castello exilii poena damnavit. See also Romana 344 and 
Bury I 278-281, Cambridge Medieval History 430. Castle of 

LucuUus: the Lucidlanum, the magnificent villa built near Naples 
by L. Licinius Lucullus, who defeated Mithridates in 73 B.C. 
and died 57-56 B.C. 

243. seven hundred and ninth year: that is, dating the begin- 
ning of the rule of Augustus from the assassination oi Julius 
Caesar in 44 B.C. five hundred and twenty-second year: the 
sentence is taken over almost unchanged from Marcellinus on 
the year 476. The chronology may be explained as follows: 



1/8 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Founding of Rome 753 B.C. 

Accession of Augustus in 709th year 

after (= 708 years) 45 B.C. 

Romulus Augustulus in 522nd year 
after accession of Augustus ( = 
521 years) 476 A.D. 

Although the total reckoning comes out correctly, the date of 
the assassination of Julius Caesar should, of course, be 44, not 
45, B.C. See also Rotnana 345. slew Count Bracila: see Mar- 
cellinus on the year 477: Bracilam coniitcm Odovacer rex apud 
Ravcnnam occidit. almost thirteen years: Odoacer fled to 
Ravenna in 489 after the Battle of Verona; see LVII 293. 

XLVII 245. ninth in succession: the following is a list of 
the Visigothic kings mentioned by Jordanes: 

Alaric I 395-410 

Athavulf 410-415 

Segeric 415 

Valia 415-419 

Theodorid I 419-451 

Thorismud 451-453 

Theodorid II 453-466 

Eurich 466-485 

Alaric II 485-507 



Amalaric 507-531 

Thiudis 531-548 

Thiudigislus 548-549 

Agil 549-554 

Athanagild 554-567 

stated above: in XLVI 243. 

XLVIII 246. Hermanaric: he died in 375; see XXIV 13a 
and note. Vinitharius: see genealogical chart, p. 41. 

247. Boz: not otherwise mentioned. 

248. Balamber: see XXIV 130 and note. Gesimund: 
Mommsen {Index Personarum, p. 143, under Gcsimundus) points 
out that it is evident from two passages that a generation has 
fallen out in one branch of the family tree of the Amali as 
given in XIV 79. For in XLVIII 252 Vandalarius the son of 
Vinitharius and Thorismud the son of Hunimund are called 
cousins, which requires the same number of generations between 
each of them and their common ancestors, and furthermore 
Gesimund, who is here (XLVIII 248) called the son of Huni- 
mund the Great, is not found in the genealogical list, though the 
other Amali with whom he is mentioned are all named there. 
Furthermore (though Mommsen does not attach much impor- 



COMMENTARY 1 79 

tan'ce to this argument), by the addition of one generation 
Eutharic and Amalasuentha are made to be of the same 
generation. 

Mommsen believes that Gesimund has fallen out, not between 
Hunimund and Thorismud, but between Hermanaric and 
Hunimund. For both Jordanes (XLVIII 250) and Cassio- 
dorus himself (van 11, i) speak of Hunimund's beauty, 
so we must admit that he began to rule when a young man. 
And yet, if Hermanaric died at the age of no, it is scarcely 
likely that he left a youthful son as his successor. Furthermore 
what Jordanes says in XLVIII 248 — that when the Huns ex- 
pelled Vinitharius from his kingdom they sumimoned Gesimund, 
the son of Hunimund the Great, and (XLVIII 250) that this 
Hunim'und ruled the Goths upon the defeat and death of Vini- 
tharius — is scarcely credible. 

Mommsen therefore argues that in XIV 81 the author should 
have written: Hermanaricus genuit [Gesimuiidum; Gesimiindus 
autem genuit] Hunimundum. And likewise, since the words in 
parentheses had fallen out, instead of Gesimundo Hermanarici 
filio in XLVIII 248 there was substituted Gesimundo Hunimundi 
magni filio and in the XLVIII 250 instead of Hunimundus filius 
Gesimundi was substituted Hunimundus filius Hermanarici. 

Hodgkin (III 9) believes that Gesimund was probaibly an 
elder brother of Thorismud. Erhardt (Gottingische gelehrte 
Anzeigen 1886, 1-2, page 677) is of the opinion that the contra- 
dictions found in Getica 246-252 clearly indicate that the genea- 
logical table as given in 79 has been cleverly restored — probably 
by Cassiodorus — and is not to be relied upon. Accordingly he 
considers Mo'mmsen's attempt to reconcile Jordanes' various 
statements with each other as equally untrustworthy. See the 
genealogical chart on p. 41. 

249. Erac: possibly the river Phasis in Colchis; see VI 47. 

250. personal beauty: Cassiodorus 11, i: enituit . . . Vnimun- 
dus forma. bloom of youth: Cassiodorus 11, i: enituit . . . 
Thorismut castitate. 

251. for forty years: Kopke (Die Anfange des Konigthums 
bei den Gothen, p. 141) seeks to explain this legendary forty 
years of mourning by a notice preserved in a letter of Cassio- 
dorus (var. 8, 9). He assumes that we must interpolate a reign, 
namely that of a Gensemund who, as Cassiodorus says: "though 
only adopted as a son-in-arms, joined himself with such devotion 
to the Amal race that he rendered service of anxious fidelity 
to its heirs, although he himself was besought to wear the 
crown." (Hodgkin's translation.) But Hodgkin points out that 
the point of this story seems rather to be that Gesimund refused 



l8o JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

the crown. Hodgkin's explanation seems rather more probable: 
that the Goths did for a time hesitate to fill the place of their 
beloved king, and t*he Huns, who were their overlords, so pro- 
longed this period that it was a generation before they suc- 
ceeded in restoring the Amal line to the throne. (Hodgkin III 
8.) we have said before: in XXXIII 174. Amalasuentha : or 
Amalasuntha, the daughter of Theodoric and Audefleda. See 
also LIX 304 onward. divided long ago: that is, when Bere- 
mud went to the Visigoths; see XXXIII 174. second 

husband: Mathesuenthas first husband was Vitiges, the armor- 
bearer of Theodahad (LX 309). 

252, stock of Vandalarius: with the sections of this chapter 
compare also XIV 79 onward and LVIII 297 onward. 

253. Thiudimer served: so Cassiodorus 11, i: enituit . . . 
Vnalamer fide, Theudimer pietate. 

XLIX 254. Priscus relates: the passage is not preserved. 

257. took annual tribute: see Priscus fr. 3 (p. 90 MuelL): 
oiidevi Twv TrtDTrore ttjs 'EKvdtKTJs ^ Kal ir^pas dp^dvTWP yTJs TOffavra iv dXlyip 
Karaweir pdxOa.1.1 ware Kal twv iv ttj (i!)K£av(^ vrjffuv 6.px^i-v Kai irpbi irdari rri 
'ZKvdiKrj Kal 'Vw/j-aiovs exf' ^s (pipov dwaydiyriv. 

L 260. Ardaric: see also XXXVIII 199 and Romana 331. 
Nedao: or Netad: this stream was probably in the part of 
Hungary west of the Danube. (Hodgkin II 192.) By this 
victory in 454 the Ostrogoths were at last freed from the yoke 
of the Huns after almost eighty years of subjection to them. 
See Bury I 261. 

261. the Suavi fighting on foot: W. Frohner (Philologus sup- 
plbd. 5, 55 [1889] would read lapide for pcdc, referring to the use 
of the sling. 

263. Marcian: he reigned from 450-457. 

264. Sirmium . . . Vindobona: Sirmium corresponds to a 
town of Hungary called Mitrovitz; Vindobona is the modern 
Vienna. 

265. Castra Martis: Castra Martis or Castramat'tena urbs, as 
it here called, was a city of Dacia Ripensis. Duke of Penta- 
polis: in Libya; see Procopius bell. Vand. 2, 21. Froila and 
Bessa: of Blivila, mentioned above, and Froila, we know no 
more than Jordanes states. Procopius {bell. Goth, i, 16) says 
of Bessa (or Bessas) : ovto^ Tordoi ixkv fiv yivos rOiv iK irakaiov iv Opt'Kri 
(^Krjfxivuiv, Qevdeplxv '''^ ^^'^ iTTKrirofiivcov, 7]vlKa ivdivde is IraXlav iirljye rbv 
T6t0wv Xeuv.- From another passage (4, 11) it appears that he 
was over seventy years of age in 551. The fact that Jordanes 
speaks of Bessa as Patrician in our time helps to establish the 
date of the Getica. Sciri: see XLVI 242. Sadagarii: 
Zeuss p. 709. 



COMMENTARY l8l 

266. Paria . . . Candac: this short section contains practi- 
cally all that we know of Jordanes on his own statement: that 
he was the son of Alanoviiamuth (but see Introduction p. 3) 
and grandson of Paria, the notary of that Candac who led the 
Sciri, Sadagarii and certain of the Alani into Scythia Minor and 
Lower Moesia. And, if I read the Latin aright, Jordanes him- 
self was secretary of Gunthigis, otherwise known as Baza, the 
son of Candac's sister and Andag, whose father Andela was 
of the royal family of the Amali. 

[Alani] [Ostrogoths] 

I Andela (Amalus) 

Candac sister married Andag (see XL 209) 

I . 
Gunthigis, or Baza 

before my conversion: see introduction p. 5. Rugi: pre- 

viously mentioned in III 24 and perhaps in IV 26 (Ulmerugi). 
Bizye: Bizye was a town of Thrace, not far from Constanti- 
nople. Arcadiopolis: this town, formerly called Bergula, was 
near Bizye. Hernac: Priscus calls him'Hpwxsee fr. 36 (p. 107 
Muell.). Emnetzur and Ultzindur: not mentioned elsew'here. 
But see note on LIII 272. Oescus and Utus and Almus: 
Mommsen thinks that these are three tributaries of the Danube 
with three towns bearing the same names situated at their 
mouths. There is no other mention of Utus. Sacromontisi 
and . . . Fossatisii: not mentioned elsewhere. 

LI 267. Vulfila: Bishop Ulfilas lived probably from 311-381. 
See Bessel, Ueber das Leben des Ulfilas und die Bekehrung der 
Gothen zum Christenthum (Gottingen, i860). taught them to 
write: see Socrates hist. eccl. 4, 2,i-- Ov\4>i\as 6 rOiv TSrewp iiriaKoiros 
ypdfjLfj.a.Ta i(pevpeToreiKd. , Nicopolitan region: see XVIII loi, and 
note on Nicopolis. 

LII 268. Scarniunga and Aqua Nigra: these streams in Pan- 
nonia are not mentioned elsewhere, and it seems impossible to 
identify them. Lake Pelso: see corpus inscr. lot. Ill p. 523. 
Either the Neusiedler See in the northwest corner of Hungary 
or the Platten See, more than a hundred miles southeast of it. 
(Hodgkin III 13.) 

270. like a New Year's present: strena, not strenua as in 
Jordanes, is the correct form. Theodoric, son of Triarius: he 
was a kinsman of Aspar and perhaps therefore a friend of the 
Emperor Leo (Hodgkin III 17). In after years the two 
Theodorics crossed each others paths and their relations with 
the Emperor Zeno were intricate and ever changing. See Bury 
I 262 onward, Cambridge Medieval History 470 onward. 



l82 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

LIII 272. Sadagis: see Zeuss p. 709. Dintzic: in Priscus 
fr. 36, 38 (p. 107, 108 Muell.) he is called A^77ifix. Ultzin- 
zures: in L 266 mention is made of a certain Ultzindur. Com- 
pare Agathias 5, 11: ttTayres Koipy /jiiv 1.kv6(xl koL Otivvoi (Tnavoixd^ovro ■ 
ISlq. 8k Kara, yivr}, rb fx^v ri avrCov Korpiyovpoi, to dk Ovrlyovpot, SXKoi 6k 
OiXri^ovpoi, al &\\oi BovpovyoiJi'dioi, Zeuss p. 709. Angisciri: see 
Zeuss p. 709. Bittugures: Agathias 2, 13 speaks of OvuvLKbv rb 
idvos ol BlTTopes . See also Zeuss p. 709. Bardores: see Zeuss 
p. 709. Bassiana: Mommsen (corpus inscr. kit. Ill) places this 
city on the Raab in Hungary, about twenty miles east of Stein- 
am-Anger. 

273. Hunimund: to be distinguished from Hunimund the 
Amal, mentioned in XIV 81. Dalmatia was near Suavia: 
Mom'msen (p. 165) shows that Jordanes is in error. He con- 
founds Suavia with Savia, the Roman province which borders 
on Dalmatia. Moreover the narrative of Jordanes makes it 
clear that Hunimund came into Dalmatia from Germany. For 
the situation of the Suavi see LV 280 and note. According to 
Procopius {bell. Goth, i, 12), the Suavi were neighbors of the 
Thuringi and Alamanni. See Bury I 262, note 3. 

276. Valamir . , . was . . . slcdn: Jordanes gives a resume 
of these and the following events in the Romana 347. Thus 
were all destroyed: Hodgkin (III 22) remarks that Jordanes 
dwells upon the destruction of the Sciri, perhaps to obscure the 
real issue of the fight. In addition to the loss of their king, 
the Goths may have suflFered a severe defeat at the hands of the 
Suavi; a surmise rendered all the more probable by the events 
recounted in the following sections. 

LIV 277. Alaric: this Alaric, king with Hunimund of the 
German Suavi, is to be distinguished from either of the two 
Alarics, the Visigothic kings, and Alaric King of the Heruli 
(XXIII 117). Beuca and Babai: Beuca is not mention'ed 

elsewhere; Babai appears again in LV 282. Edica and 

Hunuulf: not mentioned elsewhere; but see Hodgkin II 517 n. 
the river Bella: not mentioned elsewhere. 

278. a crimson sea: Jordanes is at his best in describinig 
battle scenes and appears to take delight in the bloody details 
he recounts. Compare XL 208. 

279. they rejoiced with joy unspeakable: the ineffabili exul- 
tatione laetantar of Jordanes seems to be made over from 
exultabitis laetitia inenarrabili in the Vulg'ate I Petr. i, 8. See 
note on XXVI 137 for another Vulgate reminiscence. That 
both of these Biblical echoes are referable to a single book of 
the New Testament is noteworthy. 



COMMENTARY 183 

LV 280. country of the Suavi: Hodgkin (III 21) thinks the 
diagram suggested by Jordanes: 

Thuringians 
Franks Suavi Bavarians 

Burgundians 

must be replaced by this: 

Franks 
Burgundians Suavi Bavarians 

Burgundians 

281. almost subdued: a form of statement w^hich may mean 
to 'OUr author almost anything from a dravirn battle to a defeat. 

282. summoned . . . adherents: as Hodgkin (III 24) ob- 
serves, this was a reproduction of the old Germanic Comitatus 
which Tacitus describes (Germania 13): haec dignitas, hae vires: 
magno semper electorum iuvenum globo circumdari in pace decus, 
in bello praesidium. Camundus: if a Roman general bore such 
a name, he was probably of barbarian origin or descent (Hodg- 
kin III 24). Singidunum: now Belgrade. 

LVI 283. Glycerius ruled, see XLV 239. 

285. river Savus: a tributary of the Danube in Pannonia, now 
the Save. Naissus: Nisch. Bury I 262, note S. Astat and 
Invilia: not otherwise mentioned. Ulpiana: its site is doubt- 
ful. Miommsen thinks it was the first stage 'from Castrum Her- 
culis on the road to Scupi. See Corpus inscr. lat. Ill pp. 268. 
1024. Castrum Herculis: a place fourteen miles from Naissus. 
See Corpus inscr. lat. Ill p. 268. 

286. Stobi: probably now represented by the village of 
Czerna Gratzko near the confluence of the Czerna and Vardar 
(Erigon and Axius). Here the roads from Scupi, Sardica, Hera- 
clea and Thessalonica met (Hodgkin III 28). Heraclea and 
Larissa: Heraclea is Monastir in Macedonia; Larissa is in 
Thessaly. Thessalonica: now Salonica. Hilarianus: magister 
officiorum and Patricius at Leo's court; see Codex lustin. i, 23, 6. 
the emperor: Leo II, 473-474. 

287. places they inhabited: Mommsen identifies as follows the 
places mentioned in the text Cerru, Pellas, Europa, Mediana, Petina, 
Bereu, Sium) : Cyrrhus and Pella, neighboring towns in Mace- 
donia prima; Pella is the birthplace of Alexander the Great. 
Europus and Methone, in the same province. Pydna and Beroea, 
also towns of this province; the former famous as the scene of 
the defeat of Perseus (B.C. 168), the latter the Berea mentioned 
in Acts 17, 10. Dium on the Thermaic Gulf. (See map, Hodg- 
kin III 28.) 

LVII 289. Consul Ordinary: this was in 484. He was made 



184 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

Patrician and Master of Soldiery in 478, for helping restore 
Zeno to the throne after tfhe revolt of Basiliscus. In the Romana 
384 we find these same things related, the writer adhering there 
a little -more closely to the account given by Marcellinus 

291. it will save the expense: in Orosius (7, 43) Valia, king 
Qif the Visigoths says to the Emperor Honorius: tu cum omnibus 
pacem habe omniumque obsides accipe : nos nobis confligimus, nobis 
perimus, tibi vincimus: immortalis vero quaestus erit rei publicae 
tuae, si iitrique pereamus. 

292. sent him forth: see Anonymus Valesianus 49: Zeno recom- 
pensans bcneficiis Theodericum quern fecit patricium et consulem, 
donans ei miiltum et mittens eum ad Italiam. Hesperia: the 
poetic name for Italy, the western country. Sontius: now the 
river Isonzo. See corpus inscr. let. V pp. 75. 935. Theodoric. 
dated his reign in Italy from the battle of the Isonzo (Hodgkin 
III 191). The Annals of Ravenna on the year 490 say: his con- 
sulibus ingressus est rex Theodericus in fossato pontis Sontis et 
fugit Odoacer rex de fossato et abiit in Beronam. Hodgkin gives 
the date as 489. 

293. Odoacer: see XLVI 242. Pineta: the famous pine 
forest near Ravenna. harrassed . . . the Goths: see Anony- 
mus Valesianus 54: hoc consule (the year 491) exiit Odoachar 
rex de Ravenna node cum Herulis ingressus in Pineta in fossato 
patricii Theoderici . . . et victus Odoachar fugit Ravenna idibus 
luliis. 

294. begged for mercy: see the Continua*or of Prosper 
(Havniensis) on the year 493: Odoachar pacem ab Theudorico 
postulans accepit, qua non diu potitus est. . . Theodoricus cum 
pacem cum Odoachar fecisset, ingressus est Classcm III k. Mart. 
ac deinde ingressus est Ravennam, pads specie Odoachrem interfecit. 

295. deprived him of his life: the assassination of Odoacer is 
the darkest blot on the career of Theodoric the Great. Theo- 
doric invited his rival to a banquet in the Palace of Lauretum 
and there slew him with his own hand. See Bury I 281, 
Hodgkin III 212, Cambridge Medieval History 440. Lodoin: 
this is Chlodwig or Clovis, king of the Franks from 481-51 1. 
daughter Audefleda: Gregory of Tours {hist. Franc. 3, 31) says 
she was his sister: Theodoricus rex Italiae Chlodovechi regis 
sororem in matrimonio habuit. 

296. Celdebert . . . Thiudebert: we learn from Gregory of 
Tours 3, I that the sons of Clovis were Theudericus, Chlodomerus 
Childebertus and Chlotocharius, and that Theuderic, the eldest, 
had a son named Theudebert. So when Jordanes speaks of 
Celdebert, Heldebert and Thiudebert, the first two names seem 
to have arisen from dittograp'hy, while the third is not that of a 
son but of a grandson of Clovis. 



COMMENTARY 1 85 

LVIII 297. Thiudigoto . . . Ostrogotho: see Procopius bell, 
Goth, I, 12: Tip TtfviKavTa tQjv OvKji/ybrduiv ijyov/xivtf) ' AXaplxv ^i^. 
vewriptfi (Theodoric) OeuSexoOcrai' ttiv avrov Ovydrepa wapBivov iiyyvriffev. 
also Anonymus Valesianus 63: uxorem habuit ante regnuni, de qua 
susceperat filias: unam dedit nomine Arevagni Alarico regi Visi- 
gotharum in Gallia et aliani filiain stiam nomine Theodegotha Sigis- 
mundo filio Gundebaiidi regis. Alaric: Alaric II reigned from 
485-507. See XLVII 245. He was slain in battle by Clovis. 
Sigismund: king of the Burgundians from 516-523. 

298. Thorismud: Eutharic was the grandson of Beremud and 
great grandson of Thorismud. See genealogical table, p. 41. 
Amalasuentha: the daug'hter of Theodoric and Audefleda. For 
her later history see LIX 305-306. 

299. Amalafrida: the name of her first husband is unknown. 
Theodahad: king from 534-536. His unnatural cruelty is related 
in LIX 306. Thrasamund: see above, XXXIII 170. He 
reigned from 496-523. Amalaberga: see Procopius bell. Goth. 
I, 12: '^piJ-ev€(pp'i.Sifi hk tSiv Qoplyywv dpxovTi. AfieKo^ipyav rrjv AfJLa\a(ppldr]s 
TTJs ddeK<p7Js iraiSa. 

300. Count Pitza: for the duties of the Comes Gothorum, see 
Cassiodorus var. 7, 3 (Hodgkin III 253). For Pitza see Enno- 
dius paneg. 12 p. 410 Sirm. (quoted in the next note below) and 
Cassiodorus var. 5, 29. Possibly the person to whom Proco- 
pius refers {bell. Goth, i, 15) under the year 536: liiT^asTbTeosavrtp 
Thrasaric: in Ennodius paneg. 12 p. 410 Sirm. we read: Sirmien- 
sium civitas olini limes Italiae fuit, in qua seniores domini excuba- 
bant . . . hacc postea per regentium neglectnm in Gepidai'um iura 
concessit . . . urebant animum principis (Theodoric) dolosi blan- 
dimenta commenti et circa alios Gepidas quorum ductor est Gun- 
derit, intempestiva Traserici familiaritas . . . postquam liquido 
Traserici patuere commenta, Gothorum nobilissimos Pitsia, 
Herduic et pubem nullis adhuc dedicatam proeliis destinasti 
ut si oblatis pactionibus adquiesceret, semel invaso locorum 
potiretur arbitrio . . . fugit sponte aliena et sine impulsu 
exercitus tui descruit quod debebat. continuo Pitsia . . . non 
adquisitam esse terram credidit, sed refusam. Thraustila: see 
Paulus hist. Rom. 15, 15: Theodericus . . . prius qtiam Italiam ad- 
ventaret, Trapstilam Gcpidarum regcm insidias sibi molientem bello 
superans extinxit. Mundo: a Hun, aided by the Goths in 505. 
In Ennodius paneg. 12, p. 411 sirm. after the narrative of the 
capture of Sirmium by Pitza, we read: quibus (Pitza and his 
aimy) ibi ordinationeni moderantibiis per foederati Mundonis attrec- 
tationem Graecia est professa discordiam sccum Bulgares suos in 
tutela deducendo . . . quid strages militum revolvam et Sabiniani 
ducts abitionem turpissimamf See 'Bury I 285 note. Sabinian: the 



l86 JORDANES: ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

son of the general of the same name who fought with Theodoric 
in Macedonia twenty-six years before. Margoplanum: prob- 
ably one of the two cities of Upper Moesia — Horrea Margi and 
Margus. The form Margoplanum is not elsewhere found. 
Hodgkin believes the battle took place at Horrea Margi in the 
valley of the Morava. Margus: a stream in Moesia, now the 
Morava. 

301. Attilani: descendants of Attila. 

302. Ibba: see add. ad Victorem Tunnunensem on the year 
509: Gesaliais ab Hclbane Theodorici Italiae regis diice ah Hispania 
fugatus Africam petit. Isidorus hist. Goth. 38, on the year 507: 
Gesaliciis . . . ab Ebbane Theoderici regis duce duodecimo a Barci- 
lona tirbe niiliario comniisso proelio in fugam vertitur. This is the 
Ibba vir stiblimis dux to whom Cassiodorus writes var. 4, 17. 
Thiudis: upon the death of Alaric II in 507, his son Amalaric 
succeeded to the throne and ruled the Visigoths until 531. 
Thiudis reigned from 531-548. 

303. the present day: the year 551, when the Getica was 
written. See introduction, page 13. Athanagild: Isidorus, 
hist. Goth, ad erani 587, says Athanagild's insurrection occurred 
in the third year of King Agil's reign, that is, in 551. The 
additanienta ad Victorem Tunnunensem (p. 372 Rone.) for the 
year 552 say: Agila mortuo Athanagildus qui dudum tyrannidon 
adsumpserat Gothorum rex efficitur. Mommsen (Intro, p. XV 
note 31) believes that Athanagild's revolt started in 550. For 
Athanagild and Liberius see Bury I 415. Liberius the Patri- 
cian: see Procopius bell. Goth. 3, 39 on the year 549. Compare 
also 3, 40 and 4, 24. 

LIX 304. Athalaric: a resume of the following sections is 
given in Romana 367 onward. 

306. Theodahad: the son of Amalafrida; see LVIII 299. 
Also Bury I 388 onward, Hodgkin III 641 onward. Bulsinian 
lake: the lake of Bolsena, in Etruria. by his hirelings: see the 
continuator of Marcellinus on the year 534: Theodahadus rex 
Gothorum Amalasuentham reginam creatricem suam de regno pul- 
sam in insula laci Bulsiniensis occidit. cuius mortem imp. lusti- 
nianus ut doluit sic et ultus est. 

LX 307. triumph over the Vandals: Belisarius conquered 
Africa in 534 and was rewarded by a magnificent triumph at 
Constantinople in the autumn of the same year. 

308. Sicily, their nursing mother: great exports of corn were 
sent every year from Sicily to Rome. Trinacria: the trian- 
gular land, the poetic name for Sicily. Sinderith: the sur- 
render of Syracuse in 535 is recorded by Procopius bell. Goth. 
I, 5 and by Marcellinus, but they do not mention the name of 



COMMENTARY 187 

the Gothic leader. Evermud: the Continuator of Marcellinus 
on the year 536 calls him Ebremxid. Procopius says (bell. Goth. 
I, 8) : ^1^ 5^ Tdrduiv avrdfioXos irapa BeXicrdpiov 'E^pifMoi/B ^iiv irai<Tl rots eiro- 
fiivois Jj\dev^ 6 QevdoLTov yafi^pos, Ss t^ iKeivov dvyarpl Qevdevavdy ^vvi^Kei. 
Adriatic: see note on XXX 156. 

309. Rhegium: a city of Calabria on the Strait of Messina, 
now Reggio. Evermud's defection occurred in the year 536. 

310. Barbarian Plains: probably the Pomptine marshes be- 
tween Rome and Terracina. Procopius says of this region 
(bell. Goth. I, 11): (The Goths) is x'^P'-ov ^weXiyricrav 'Pci^Tjs 675077- 
KOVTa Kal BiaKoaioLS cTTadiois di^xov, Sirep 'Fcofjxiioi /caXoPcrt 'Peyera. ivd^vde 
yap ivaTpaTOTrede^aaaOai. cr<pi(nv 'ibo^ev dpicrrov eivai. wedia yap voXka im-avdd 
icTTip iirirb^aTa. See also Corpus iiiscr. lat. X p. 691. executed 
his command: see the continuator of Marcellinus on the year 
536: Gothorum exercitiis Theodahadum rcgetn habcns suspectum 
Vitigis in regnum adsciscit. qui max in campo Barbaric regnum 
pervasit, expeditione soluta Romatn ingreditur . . . ibique residens 
dirigit Ravennani, Theodahadum occidit. 

311. took Naples: Belisarius besieged this city for some time 
before he finally succeeded in taking it. on to Rome: so the 
city was restored to the empire after sixty years of barbarian 
rule. married Mathesuentha: see the Continuator of Mar- 
cellinus on the year 536: Ravennamque ingressus Matesuentham 
neptem Thcodorici sibi sociam in regno plus vi copulat quam aniore. 
Compare Romana 373. Mathesuentha, it will be remembered, 
was the daughter of Amalasuentha and Eutharic of Spain 
(LVIII 298) and sister of Athalaric (LIX 304). Hunila: see 
Procopius bell. Goth. I, 16: 0i;iTt7is . . . CTparidv re Kal apxovras OOVt. 
Xdp re Kal Tlir'^av iir aiiroiis eTre/ii/'e ■ ols Ko}V(yTavTivos vwavTidcras ii' rip 
Ilepvaias Trpoaarelip is x^'ptis ■^X^e . . . 'Pw/xaiot . . . toi)s iro\€fj.iovs irpixj/avTO. 
Perusia: Perugia. 

312. a long siege: this siege of Rome began in the spring 
of 537 (Hodgkin IV 127). Count Magnus: a subordinate 
cavalry officer of the force under Belisarius. He was in charge 
of the aqueduct party at the siege of Naples (536), and in the 
following year he was sent to Tibur. In 540 it became his duty 
to blockade Ravenna. See Hodgkin IV 4, 56, 219, 327; Pro- 
copius bell. Goth. 2, 28. Ariminum: the siege of Ariminum, the 
modern Rimini, occurred in 538. Two years later Vitiges gave 
up the tinequal contest and surrendered to Belisarius at Ra- 
venna. See Hodgkin IV 334, and Bury I 393 onward. 

313. two thousand and thirtieth year: from 1490 B.C. to 540 
A.D. See chronological table, p. 38. 

314. Germanus: the son oif Justinian's brother, fratri in the 
text is evidently a mistake of the copyist for fratrueli TcOmpare 



1 88 JORDANES : ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS 

XIV 8i and XLVIII 251). The death of Mathesuentha's first 
husband Vitiges took place in 542, and her marriage to Germanus 
followed soon after. a son (also called Germanus) : Ger- 
manus the Younger became a great noble of Constantinople 
but did not realize the hopes oi Jordanes. His daughter mar- 
ried Theodosius, the son of Emperor Maurice (582-602). On 
his death the imperial power was ofifered to Germanus but he 
declined it. Later he made two attempts to gain the position 
he had refused; as a result of the first he was forced to become 
a priest and renounce his ofificial position, and in consequence 
of the second (605) he and his daughter were put to death on 
an island in the Sea of Marmora. Thus the Amal line finally 
came to an end (Hodgkin IV 569). Anicii: a very ancient 

Roman family of distinction, both in classical and Christian 
times. Cassiodorus speaks of this family (z'ar. 10, 11) in the 
following terms: Anicios paene principibus pares aetas prisca pro- 
genuit. It is not known whether this family really had an 
ancestral relation to the house of Justinian. Possibly the 
mother of Germanus was a descendant of the Anicii. 



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